AvtoVAZ May Have 2008 IPO

Itar-TassTroika Dialog chief Ruben Vardanyan speaking on Wednesday at a forum hosted by his company at Gostiny Dvor.
AvtoVAZ, the country's biggest carmaker, may have an IPO this fall, Troika Dialog chief Ruben Vardanyan told journalists Wednesday on the sidelines of an investment conference.

Boris Alyoshin, the company's head, said at the forum that AvtoVAZ would introduce three new models in 2008 and was also considering a new budget car that would cost around $6,000 to $7,000.

"Sale of a blocking stake in the company is possible this autumn, if that decision is definitely made," Vardanyan said, Interfax reported. He did not say where the float would take place.

In March, Troika purchased a 17 percent stake in AvtoVAZ from state-owned arms seller Rosoboronexport. Troika has also been consulting the arms dealer on eliminating crossownership at AvtoVAZ to fuel investors' interest.

Vardanyan said Wednesday that part of the proceeds from the sale of a blocking stake would go to AvtoVAZ and the rest to shareholders.

Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn said the first priority would be promoting AvtoVAZ's Lada brand and making it "strong and attractive." He said Russia would surpass Germany as Europe's top car market in two years.

After signing a deal last month in which France's Renault will buy a 25 percent stake in AvtoVAZ, Rosoboronexport chief Sergei Chemezov said the company would later sell part of its stake in AvtoVAZ in an IPO. He said it would keep a blocking stake, however.