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ARI Confirms Sale of Shareholding in Aerofirst

Aer Rianta International (ARI) confirmed today it has sold its remaining 33.3% shareholding in Aerofirst, the Moscow-based airport retail operation.

The holding has been purchased by Arial, ARI’s fellow shareholder in Aerofirst, which owns the balancing 66.6% stake.

Aerofirst operates duty free and duty paid shops at Terminals D and F of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport and also manages inflight retail aboard Aeroflot and Transaero flights.  Arial purchased its shareholding from the Russian airline, Aeroflot earlier this year.

“We have indicated for some time our intention to realise the value of our assets in Russia and to exit from that market on a managed basis. Our strategic focus is now firmly on regions where we have scale, such as the Middle East, and on markets such as India where we are growing significantly,” said ARI Chief Executive Officer, Jack MacGowan.

“Aerofirst and other operations in Russia have been very profitable for us over the years and we would like to express our appreciation of all those colleagues who helped launch and develop our business there over that period.

“But business environments can change and the Russian market has become less attractive for us in recent years, relative to other regions. We are pleased to be in a position to sell our Aerofirst shareholding to an existing partner and to utilise the funds generated by this transaction to support our growth strategy in other regions,” he added.

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