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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hogan Advises Meinl on Mukhino

Itar-TassPassengers boarding a plane at Mukhino Airport in Ulan-Ude after it resumed operations at the end of December.
U.S. law firm Hogan & Hartson said in a statement Thursday that it advised Austria's Meinl Airports International in its acquisition of a 100 percent stake in Mukhino Airport in Ulan-Ude, close to Lake Baikal, the first ever purchase of a Russian airport by a foreign investor.

Meinl Airports, which bought Mukhino Airport for $24 million in September, said the airport handled 150,000 passengers last year and that it expected traffic to rise drastically in coming years. Mukhino had just acquired the status of an international airport, it said.

Meinl Airports said it planned significant investments into modernizing the existing airport and developing its commercial airport infrastructure.

"We believe that [Mukhino] airport has great potential for growth," Meinl Airports said in a statement. "The region is ideal for the development of traditional tourism, as well as adventure and specialized tourism. This is all thanks to the unique natural landscape of Lake Baikal."

Hogan & Hartson advised Meinl Airports on legal and tax issues in connection with the transaction. Its services included due diligence, analysis of the corporate and tax structuring of the transaction, advice on financing issues in connection with airport modernization, real estate and land law issues, as well as consultation on licensing and certification issues for airports and airport-related businesses.

Mukhino reopened in late December after reconstruction of its runway. The upgrade took five months to complete and cost the government over 360 million rubles ($14.4 million). The airport was upgraded as part of a government drive to create a tourist economic zone in the republic of Buryatia on the eastern shore of Lake Baikal.

Mukhino reported a net loss of 7.2 million rubles last year, against a 1.6 million ruble profit the year before.