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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Transaero Shuffle Demanded

A group of shareholders claiming to control a majority stake in private Russian airline Transaero called Tuesday for the company's management to accept the appointment of a new senior manager.

In a statement, the shareholders called for the current management to allow Murad Safin to take over as general director from Nikolai Kozhevnikov.

Safin was elected general manager after a shareholders meeting Aug. 8 appointed a new board of directors, the statement said.

Since then, the group of shareholders that issued Tuesday's statement has refused to recognize the current management team led by Alexander Pleshakov, one of the company's founders.

But Pleshakov said after a second shareholders meeting Friday that he would stay on as board chairman and Kozhevnikov would remain general director. Both were elected at Transaero's shareholder meeting in 1997. Transaero, which is considered one of Russia's most ambitious and successful private airlines, has been racked by a power struggle for several months as the group of shareholders tried to oust Transaero's top management.

The shareholders, which claim to control 55.5 percent of the company's shares, include LogoVAZ -- controlled by powerful tycoon Boris Berezovsky -- Obyedinenny Bank, Prints Motors, Borey-2, Finansovaya Obyedinennaya Korporatsiya and Ratmir Plus.

Pleshakov, who owns 19 percent of the carrier, said the dispute marked a "sharpening of the struggle for the Russian air market."

Tuesday's statement said a majority of Transaero's shareholders would appeal to a court if Safin is not permitted to enter Transaero's headquarters.