Samruk-Kazyna could pay up to $200 mln for BAE Systems stake in Air Astana

February 7. Interfax. Almaty

Samruk-Kazyna could pay up to $200 mln for BAE Systems stake in Air AstanaThe stake owned by Britain’s BAE Systems in Kazakhstan’s national airline, Air Astana, is estimated to be worth $100 million-$200 million, said Olzhas Khudaibergenov, Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Research.

“The company’s market price ranges from $200 million to $400 million, therefore a 49% stake could cost about $100 million to $200 million. The real price, however, depends on a number of parameters, and is subject to detailed negotiations,” he told Interfax.

Nurzhan Baidauletov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Air Astana and Managing Director of the Samruk-Kazyna (SK) state fund told the press that SK, with a 51% stake in Air Astana, is negotiating the purchase of the 49% from BAE Systems. The Kazakh government plans to float 10%-15% of Air Astana shares on the domestic stock market within the People’s IPO, but wants to keep the controlling stake.

Khudaibergenov said the potential buyout of BAE System would speed the Air Astana IPO up.

Air Astana, along with KazTransOil and KEGOC, have been slated as the first group of companies to offer their shares within the People’s IPO.

Air Astana is a joint venture between the Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund (51%) and BAE Systems PLC (49%).