Sale of 10% of Sheremetyvo International Airport (SVO) Delayed Until 2019

Chairman of the Board of Directors and co-owner of the airport, Alexander Ponomarenko, explained the delay of the transaction by pointing out the increasing value of the asset

Shareholders of Russia’s Sheremetyevo Airport have delayed the sale of 10% of the airport to 2019, according to the chairman of the board of directors and co-owner of the airport, Alexander Ponomarenko.

“Now we are concluding an agreement with JPMorgan Chase bank [to] receive the right to search for and negotiate with an investor to buy 10% of Sheremetyevo International Airport . . . [T]he deal itself is planned for 2019.”

In January, Ponomarenko had stated that the airport plans to sell 10% to a professional market participant, most likely a strategic investor.

Ponomarenko explained that the delay of the sale was due to factors not previously included in the development model of the airport and the increase in the value of Russia’s largest airport. Two of these factors were Rossiya airline using Sheremetyevo as a hub and the sharp increase in the traffic of Nordwind.

“Until the end of October, Rossiya will transfer 15 aircraft to Sheremetyevo, and the rest of the Vnukovo-based liners by the end of 2019. In addition, for the second year in a row, there has been an almost two-fold increase in the traffic of Nordwind . . . . [T]his additional traffic increases the value of the asset,” Ponomarenko said.

According to analysts, the cost of Sheremetyevo is 150-170 billion rubles. Considering the arrival of a great many new customers, as well as the forecast figures for 2019-2020, the cost of the airport can grow by 30-40%, while maintaining a stable level of business profitability and debt.

Sheremetyevo is the largest airport in Russia (in January-August it received 29.7 million passengers), 66% owned by Sheremetyevo Holding, which is 100% owned by Cyprus TPS Avia Holding. With regard to TPS Avia Holding, 65.22% belonged to Ponomarenko and Alexander Skorobogatko.

According to IFRS, the net profit of Sheremetyevo Airport in 2017 increased compared to 2016 by 6.7% to 11.9 billion rubles, revenue increased by 24.95% to 45.22 billion rubles, and operating profit was up by 43.26% to 17.38 billion rubles.