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BAE Systems may sell part of its stake in Air Astana within People’s IPO

22 сентября 2011, 14:17
Photo courtesy of airliners.nl
Photo courtesy of airliners.nl
BAE Systems [a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London] that owns 49% in Airastana airlines may sell part of its stake within the People’s IPO, Peter Foster, Air Astana President, announced September 22.

Air Astana was incorporated in late 2001. Its maiden flight was on 15th May 2002 from Almaty to Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. The Company is owned by the Kazakh Government (holding a 51% share) through its Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund, and BAE Systems PLC (holding 49%).

As of end of May the airline operated a fleet of 24 western aircraft with an average age of 7 years for its jet aircraft, close to 50 domestic and international routes.

“No final decision has been taken yet. However, it is clear that Samruk-Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund will retain its majority stake”, Mr. Foster told journalists.

“The issue is being discussed”, he said when answering whether the airline will run an additional issue of shares or whether BAE Systems will sell part of its stake.

Speaking at the Nur Otan party congress on February 11 President Nazarbayev instructed the Government to launch Initial Public Offerings (IPO) for common people before the end of 2011. The program is known as People’s IPO. According to President Nazarbayev, the IPO for the general public will enable citizens to purchase shares of the largest Kazakh companies, giving them a new tool for investments and savings.

Tengrinews.kz reported August 23, quoting Economic Development Minister Kelimbetov, that “the shares [of the national companies to be floated within the People's IPO] will be offered at market value (…) we’ve chosen the best timing: the companies are not overvalued at the present time”.

“The first wave (KEGOC national power grid operator, AirAstana airline) of People’s IPOs is to be run in Q2-3, 2012, with the second wave (KazTransGas, KazMorTransFlot, Samruk-Energo) following in 2013 and the third wave (KazakhtanTemirZholy National Railways Operator, KazTemirTrans) in 2014-2015”, he elaborated, adding that KazMunayGas O&G Company and KazAtomProm Nuclear Company may run IPOs after 2015.

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