Russian Helicopters Fails To Convince Investors

 - May 16, 2011, 6:32 AM
Kamov’s Ka-226T, a Turbomeca-powered light twin, is one of the staples of the Russian Helicopters product line.

A partial flotation of state-owned Russian Helicopters on the London and Moscow stock markets was postponed last week after potential investors failed to subscribe. The joint stock company’s major shareholder, Oboronprom, was offering new and existing shares exceeding $500 million, implying a total value for the company of between $1.8 billion and $2.4 billion. This was the first such offer of a company in Russia’s defense industry.

Russian Helicopters was formed in 2007 when Oboronprom merged the Kamov and Mil design bureaus and their four helicopter assembly plants, including Kazan and Ulan Ude; two component suppliers; an overhaul facility; and a service company. The Rostvertol plant was added in December 2010. The merged entity reported revenues of $2.7 billion last year, when it delivered 214 helicopters. The main products are the Ka-226, Ka-32, Mi-17, Mi-26 and Mi-28. The company claimed a 13.5-percent share of world helicopter sales last year, including 85 percent in Russia and the CIS countries. It said that there are 8,500 Russian Helicopters models registered worldwide, comprising 13 percent of the global fleet.

Andrei Reis, CEO of Oboronprom, commented, “We believe market participants will benefit from more time to reflect upon the true value and growth potential of our business.” Russian Helicopters planned to use proceeds from the share sale to pay down debt, buy out minority stakes in its subsidiaries and invest for the future.