Moscow to sell off assets worth $135 million

City Hall is starting a new round of sell-offs as part of Moscow’s privatization drive.

Assets worth $135 million dollars are going under the hammer on October 6, among them part of the Gostiny Dvor trade center in Moscow’s downtown, 40 percent of the famous October cinema at Novy Arbat, and 9.64 percent of the International Trade Center in Moscow City, which hosts a range of elite hotels.

The next round will take place in late November or early December, offering private companies the option to buy the National Hotel (100 percent stake), Intourist tour operator (25 percent), Novisky trade center (24.99 percent) and the Mosdachtrust company, which is in charge of house construction in Moscow’s elite district (33.75 percent).

The initiative is part of a recent mass privatization drive by Moscow Major Sergey Sobyanin, which is aimed at getting rid of unprofitable assets. The aim of the sell-off is to fix holes in Moscow budget.  

“The last round of sales held under the previous mayor lacked transparency, and the assets were overpriced,” Mikhail Mindlin, from the Cushman and Wakefield company, told RT. “The current administration has a more democratic view of the market, so I hope this sale will be more interesting to market players. Another thing that’s important here is that the prospective buyer has enough resources not only to maintain the object in its current state, but also to develop it.”

Earlier it was announced that the capital will also be selling its food markets, pharmacies and funeral-service providers. Up for grabs are the Moscow Gas Company (which is already being sought by energy giant Gazprom), the Moslift elevator maintenance firm (which services half of the city’s elevators) and the Book House (one of the capital’s biggest booksellers).

This past December the government announced its intention to sell off its stake in such iconic Moscow sites as the venue of the 2018 World Cup final, Luzhniki Stadium, and Terminal 3 at Vnukovo Airport.

The list also includes such giants as the Mospromstroy construction holding company, which owns about 150 city properties, including the Marriott, Holiday Inn and Hilton hotel chains. The city’s share in the venture (24.5 percent) is estimated at $150 million.

Among other pricy lots are Swisshotel Red Hills ($20 million), Radisson-Slavyanskaya hotel ($50-60 million), Metropol hotel ($10-12 million), and the Center of International Trade ($10 million).

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