Rosneft in talks to buy 50 pct stake in Vnukovo refueling complex for $600 mln

State-controlled oil giant Rosneft is negotiating acquisition of a 50 percent stake in the refueling complex at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport for $600 million, Vedomosti business daily said on Monday.

A source close to Rosneft confirmed to Vedomosti that the oil company was holding negotiations on the issue but declined to give any details about the price or the size of the share package, the paper said.

The refueling complex is owned by four companies but soon all the assets will be assigned to one company whose shares will be offered to Rosneft, a Vnukovo employee told the paper.

The seller and the buyer have now hired independent valuators to set the asset’s final price while the deal is expected to be closed in the fall, the paper said.

Vnukovo is home to the Vnukovo-3 terminal, Russia’s largest dedicated business jet facility and the government’s own VIP air transport wing.

Rosneft’s competitors have stronger positions on the Russian refueling market. Rosneft currently owns only one refueling complex in the Ulan Bator airport in Mongolia, while LUKoil, the country’s largest privately- run oil company, has acquired several refueling complexes in Russia since 2004.

Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of energy giant Gazprom, is currently building a refueling complex at Moscow Sheremetyevo international airport with the participation of the airport’s management. The complex was initially expected to be launched in the first quarter of 2011, but the launch date was later shifted to the beginning of 2012. The company also owns refueling complexes in several other airports across Russia.

Russian oil companies significantly intensified their work on the jet refueling market in 2008 as intermediaries’ prices were from 20 to 50 percent higher than fuel producers’ prices, Yelena Sakhnova, an analyst with VTB Capital, told Vedomosti.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin urged the Federal Antimonopoly Service to break the monopoly position of  traders at airports and has called on airlines to sign direct contracts with oil firms.

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