(Reuters) – TPG Capital [TPG.UL], one of the world’s biggest private equity firms, is close to buying a 10 percent stake in bank VTB (VTBR.MM) from the Russian government for $2.4 billion-$3.1 billion, newspaper Kommersant reported on Tuesday.
Russia plans to raise some $29 billion in asset sales over the next three years in its biggest privatisation drive since the 1990s, as it seeks to replenish budget coffers drained by a recession and improve competitiveness.
Officials have said that VTB, 85.5 percent controlled by the state and Russia’s second-biggest bank by assets, is at the front of the queue in the upcoming auction of government assets and that a 10 percent stake may be sold off by the end of the year.
A potential deal with TPG was discussed at a meeting chaired by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov on Monday, the Kommersant business daily wrote, citing an unnamed source in the Russian government.
TPG plans to attract nearly 40 co-investors and may become the biggest minority shareholder of the second-largest Russian bank, the daily wrote.
(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Mike Nesbit)