Top Car Dealer Seeks to Refinance Debt

One of the country's leading car dealers, Incom-Auto, will sell 30 percent of its share capital to raise money to refinance debt as the credit crunch chokes off access to cash, its financial chief said Monday.

"This is being carried out in order to raise capital during these hard times," said Incom-Auto's director of finance, Sergei Solovyov, adding that the deal could be worth $70 million to $100 million.

He said Incom-Auto must refinance $40 million in loans by the end of this year, part of which it hopes will come from the share sale. "Refinancing right now is a very difficult task for everyone," Solovyov added.

The private chain of dealerships, one of the three largest in Russia, specializes in the sale of Russian- and Chinese-made cars and is controlled by its president, Dmitry Kozlovsky. Solovyov declined to name the buyer of the stake, saying the company was in talks with several potential investors.