PRESS: Sberbank, VTB may use UTair as basis for new airline
MOSCOW, Jan 10 (PRIME) -- RussiaТs two biggest lenders Sberbank and VTB Bank may use UTair airline as the basis for their future joint interregional air carrier, Vedomosti business daily reported on Thursday citing sources.
The banks may acquire UTair by converting its large debt to Sberbank into shares, according to Vedomosti. Two sources told the daily that a transportation agreement may be another option without obtaining a share in the carrier. There are other bidders for the project, and the winner may be chosen at auction, they said.
УThe banks are considering various options, the model is still under discussion so it is premature to comment on the details,Ф a representative of VTB told Vedomosti. Sberbank and UTair declined to comment.
Another source said that Sberbank and VTB would prefer partnership with the future air carrier, but may become its shareholders if it is ordered by the government, their core shareholder.
In October 2018, VTB CEO Andrei Kostin said that VTB Bank and Sberbank planned to invest at least U.S. $1 billion to set up an interregional airline and that the idea belonged to Sberbank CEO German Gref.