Renova Development, part of the Renova Group owned by the Russian tycoon Victor Vekselberg, which controls Russia's second-biggest aluminum producer Sual Group and has a major stake in BP's Russian venture, TNK-BP, announced to have bought 49 per cent shares of the tobacco plant Astra located in Perm, a city at the foot of the Ural mountains, from the local government.
Agreement on the buyout of the remaining block of shares from the plant’s management has also been reached, Renova spokesman Alexey Frolov told the press. The acquisition is part of Renova’s development project including construction of a multi-storey hotel in place of the tobacco plant in the city centre. Renova is ready to pay RUR 100 to 150 million (Euro 3 to 4.5 million) for the control stock, in addition to RUR 62 million (Euro 1.8 million) already paid to the government’s block of shares, Frolov elaborated. The fate of the tobacco company remains vague, but according to the region’s vice-governor Vladimir Lobanov, an option of moving the plant to an industrial suburb is being considered. (vt)