TASHKENT, April 27. /TASS/. French carmaker Renault plans to sell its 68% stake in Avtovaz for a symbolic price of one ruble, with the possibility of buyback within the next five or six years, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov has told reporters.
Most likely, the stake will go to the Moscow government, namely to the Moscow-based automotive institute NAMI, Manturov noted.
"Renault is among those who are in talks with us on their withdrawal. Indeed, due to lack of resources to support its activities or operation of its Russian branches, Renault has decided to hand over its stake in Avtovaz and Avtoframosn [Renault Russia]. Avtoframos [will be handed over] to Moscow as an entity. As far as Avtovaz is concerned, it is most likely to be handed over to NAMI, our industry-specific institute who will receive this stake with the possibility of buyback, if our colleagues decide to return," he said. "It is expected to be, tentatively speaking, a deal worth a ruble."
In his words, the French company will have an opportunity to buy back its stake within five or six years.
"If we make any investments during this period, it will also be taken into account. There will be no presents," the minister said.
Manturov added that the Renault plant in Moscow will not be mothballed. Instead, it will produce other cars, possibly of the Lada brand.
"We have no plans of buying, let alone nationalizing anything. But if a company has no opportunity to ensure delivery of components at present, we cannot wait for eternity. We will be forced to find an alternative. This applies to all carmakers who hold back on their decision," he said.
According to Manturov, selling Renault’s stake to Chinese partners or other foreign companies was not being discussed.
Renault holds 68% in Lada Auto Holding, a joint venture with Rostec, which owns 100% of Avtovaz. In late March, Renault announced that it was suspending the operation of its Moscow plant and planned to explore possible options for its participation in the work of AvtoVAZ.