Taimuraz Bolloev and VTB began to absorb the empire of Oleg Deripaska

The former president of Baltika and VTB will buy Gelendzhik's airport from Oleg Deripaska. The deal has nothing to do with sanctions, says Basel Aero.
The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) authorized VTB and its partner, an individual, to buy 49.5% of Gelendzhik Airport LLC, the FAS reported.

VTB's partner is Taimuraz Bolloev, the representative of the bank said. "VTB together with the partner plans to close the deal on the acquisition of the Gelendzhik airport in the near future. We see the growth prospects of passenger transportation in the region and consider this asset as a long-term infrastructure investment, "the representative of VTB added.

"Gelendzhik Airport" is a member of "Basel aero" holding, in 2017 it received 304,000 passengers. In Basel aero (51% owned by Oleg Deripaska's Basic Element, 30% by Singapore's Changi, and 19% by Sberbank) also includes Sochi, Krasnodar and Anapa airports (they took 10.5 million passengers in 2017) .

 Boloev in the years 1991-2004. was the general director (then president) and co-owner of the brewing company Baltika (since 1993 it was controlled by Carlsberg), leaving Baltika in 2005, founded the BTK Group, which quickly became Russia's largest clothing supplier state structures. In 2009-2011, was the president of state corporation "Olimpstroj".

An inconvenient airport

The new terminal in Gelendzhik "Basel aero" was built and launched in 2010, for it a new runway was built at the expense of the federal budget. "Basel aero" has long been thinking about the sale of Gelendzhik airport. The reason is that only one course of approach is allowed now - from the sea, the top manager of a major airport told Vedomosti. But because of windy weather, landing from the sea side is often unavailable, and the route from the mountain is not approved by Rosaviatsia. As a result, the airport is limited in development, the interlocutor explained. For the same reason, the sales manager says the airline flying to Gelendzhik: here few people want to fly, especially in winter.

 At least 20% of the flights arriving in Gelendzhik are forced to go to a spare airfield to Anapa because of the wind, and if the plane is in the airport, then because of the winds, it can be stuck there for a couple of days, the top manager of the Russian airline said. Loukoster "Victory" even sued Rosaviatsiya demanding to approve the training program for pilots to approach the landing from the mountains (by preparing pilots, you can get permission to use this course). The Moscow Arbitration Court dismissed the claim, and the "Victory" decision is going to appeal.

"Basel aero" is going to focus on the development of key airports in Sochi, Krasnodar and Anapa, said the representative of the holding. In particular, the company is building a new airport complex in Krasnodar. "Basel aero" has long considered options to exit the airport Gelendzhik. The possible transaction is in no way connected with sanctions and is aimed at further development of the holding, the representative of Basel Aero emphasizes.

If the purchase of "Gelendzhik" takes place, it will not be the first transaction of VTB in air transport. The structure of the bank - VTB Capital - in 2010, as part of the consortium, won a 30-year concession to the Pulkovo airport in St. Petersburg. "VTB Capital" initially owned 57.5% of the concessionaire company "The Gate of the Northern Capital" (VVSS), and in 2016 sold most of its share. But he remains the largest co-owner of the VVSS with a share of 25.01%. Also in 2017, "VTB Capital" as part of the consortium participated in a tender for the concession of Belgrade airport, but lost to French Vinci Airports.