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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

AvtoVAZ to Choose Just One Partner

AvtoVAZ intends to sell a stake to Renault, Fiat or Magna, outgoing Federal Industry Agency chief Boris Alyoshin said Friday.

"AvtoVAZ will get new shareholders," though only one of the foreign manufacturers will be its "strategic partner," said Alyoshin, who could soon be appointed the next head of state-run carmaker AvtoVAZ. The size of the stake is under discussion, he said.

Fiat, Renault and Magna have all built relationships with AvtoVAZ to broaden their foothold in the country's fast-growing car market.

Alyoshin, who has submitted his resignation from the industry agency, said he expects to be appointed CEO of AvtoVAZ "later this year."

Former AvtoVAZ CEO Vladimir Artyakov left last month after President Vladimir Putin nominated him as Samara governor. Putin offered Alyoshin the AvtoVAZ job last week, Kommersant reported Thursday.

Canada's Magna agreed with AvtoVAZ in May to jointly build 220,000 cars per year in Russia. The business plan for their 1.5 billion euro ($2 billion) factory is expected by Oct. 27.

Magna shareholders last month backed a $1.5 billion investment in the firm by Oleg Deripaska, who controls No. 2 carmaker GAZ.

Italy's Fiat plans to set up a partnership with AvtoVAZ to build engines and to provide a vehicle platform.

France's Renault has an auto plant in Moscow with AvtoVAZ that is doubling capacity. Nathalie Bourotte, a Renault spokeswoman, said "discussions are continuing" with AvtoVAZ, declining to comment further.

Spokespeople for Magna and Fiat declined to comment.