Rotenberg expected to gain control of Sheremetyevo airport

Arkady Rotenberg

Vladimir Putin’s long-time judo sparring partner Arkady Rotenberg and his billionaire partner Alexander Ponomarenko, are set to become majority stakeholders in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport after the Russian president signed a decree last week reducing the state’s ownership from 83% to 30%. Although the decree does not name the new majority shareholder, it is widely assumed Rotenberg and his partners will exercise control through TPS Avia, which in 2013 was awarded a contract to expand the airport by constructing a new terminal building and connecting it with the old terminals by an underground train.
 Sheremetyevo Airport’s  development  is one of the main infrastructure projects under way in advance of the 2018 World Cup,  and the contract requires TPS Avia to finish construction by 2018 and to invest up to $635m in its upgrade, including  a cargo terminal and a refueling complex.
At the beginning of August,  Putin signed a similar decree ordering the state to consolidate its assets in Vnukovo Airport with the ­government owning at least 25% in the resulting structure. Following the  consolidation, control of Vnukovo is expected to pass to  Andrei Skoch, Vitaly Vantsev and Vladimir Kozhevnikov.