Moscow's Vnukovo Airport board chairman mulls buying Domodedovo

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Moscow-based Vnukovo International Airport board chairman Vitaly Vantsev said on Thursday he and his partners were interested in buying Russia's largest airport, Domodedovo.

Moscow-based Vnukovo International Airport board chairman Vitaly Vantsev said on Thursday he and his partners were interested in buying Russia's largest airport, Domodedovo.

"Actually, I am ready. I know how to make it better," Vantsev told reporters, adding that Domodedovo's current estimate worth of $4-5 billion was too high.

"My estimate is $3 billion," he said.

A banking source told Prime news agency on Tuesday that Domodedovo had picked Goldman Sachs investment bank as an adviser for the airport's possible sale.

Experts say Domodedovo owners want to sell the airport to protect their business from possible nationalization, which has been discussed as part of the government's plan to unify the three Moscow airports, Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo, into one air hub and gain control over it.

Vantsev said that Vnukovo and Sheremetyevo airports would merge in 2012 after the Moscow government transferred its Vnukovo shares to federal ownership.

Five years after their merger, the Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo airports may hold an initial public offering, during which a state stake in the merged company may be sold, Vantsev said.

Vantsev said the Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo airports might hold their IPO when their combined passenger flow reached about 60-65 million passengers a year. Sheremetyevo's passenger flow was 19.3 million and Vnukovo's 9.5 million passengers last year.

 

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