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RDIF consortium to acquire equity stake in Pulkovo Airport from VTB Capital

A consortium comprising of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Mubadala Development Company and other Middle Eastern and Asian co-investors alongside Baring Vostok Private Equity Fund V and related funds is to acquire a 25 per cent equity stake in Thalita Trading from VTB Capital.

Thalita is the holding company of Northern Capital Gateway, which operates Pulkovo Airport (LED) in St Petersburg, Russia.
On completion of the transaction, VTB Capital will reduce its ownership in Thalita to 25.01 per cent, while Fraport AG’s and Qatar Investment Authority’s stakes will remain at 25 per cent and 24.99 per cent respectively. Fraport’s role as the lead airport operator of Pulkovo remains unchanged.
Consortium members have filed an application to the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service of Russia with respect to the transaction.
Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), says: “In line with RDIF`s long-term strategy, this transaction enables leading foreign investors to access major infrastructure assets across Russia. Pulkovo Airport is an excellent example of a successful public-private partnership (PPP) – one of the largest PPPs in Russia – that has created a high-quality and stable asset. As a new shareholder of the airport, we are grateful to our colleagues from VTB Capital for the development of this asset and look forward to effective cooperation with all of our partners.”
Yuri Soloviev, first deputy president and chairman of VTB Bank Management Board, says: “Since the VTB Capital-led partnership with Fraport initiated the development and reconstruction of Pulkovo Airport in 2010, we have been pleased with our investment in the project. Pulkovo’s transformation into a modern air travel hub has been acknowledged both by passengers and the professional airport community. Our long-term strategy has always assumed a gradual divestment once the airport reached target operational and financial results following the project’s completion, and the interest demonstrated by the consortium confirms the investment attractiveness of Pulkovo Airport. We are delighted that such high-calibre international investors are joining as the new shareholders and we are looking forward to developing the airport in partnership with them.”

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