Updated 12:45 p.m. Moscow Time
SOCHI, September 20 (RIA Novosti) – Kirill Androsov, the chairman of the board of directors in Russian carrier Aeroflot, deems it appropriate to privatize some 10 percent of the company's shares via Moscow stock exchange.
"We will try to do it this year. As the chairman of the board of directors, I will do my best. … The market will hardly be interested in a deal worth less than $150 million. With the current Aerofolot's capitalization standing at $1.5 billion, we need to sell about 10 percent of shares," Androsov told journalists at an economic forum in Sochi.
"Now, as part of the privatization program, we need a government's approval for [the Federal Agency for State Property Management] Rosimushchestvo and the Ministry of Economic Development to carry out necessary operations that will reduce the government's overall share to 50 percent plus one share. After the approval we will need to ask [Russian industrial company] Rostec whether it is going to sell its share together with us," he added.
Androsov also confirmed that the Aeroflot shares will be issued to the Russian stock market.
"There are plenty of tools that allow issuance to the Moscow stock exchange," he said, adding that the company is willing to sell its 10 percent to many entities to increase Aeroflot's free float.
"We think Aeroflot is a great company and there will be demand for this amount [of shares]," the board of directors head said.
Earlier, Aeroflot Director General Vitaly Saveliev said the sale of 10 percent of the company’s shares would be part of the first stage of Aeroflot’s privatization. Currently, according to the company’s website, the Russian government owns 51.17 percent of Aeroflot’s shares.
Aeroflot is Russia’s flagship carrier and one of the largest airlines in Europe. The company and its partners serve more than 1,000 destinations in 178 countries around the world. In 2013, Aeroflot carried 20.9 million passengers, which is a record number for any Russian airline.