Russian billionaire eyeing Italian cargo airline
Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, ranked 16th on Forbes' 2007 Rich List with an estimated net worth of $18.7 billion, is reportedly looking to buy a controlling stake in Italian all-cargo airline Ocean Airlines for about 300 million euros ($430 million), claims Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti.
Established in 2003, Ocean Airlines is owned by Finrep, Ined Holdings and ITAL Aviation. It is headquartered in Brescia Montichiari Airport and operates two Boeing 747-200 Freighters on services from Italy to Shanghai and Hong Kong with stopovers at Lahore in Pakistan, Almaty in Kazakhstan, and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
The airline has ordered six more 747-200Fs that are all due for delivery by next April enabling it to open new routes to Abu Dhabi, Luanda, Nagoya, Nairobi and Washington.
The company is also understood to be planning an initial public offering in London, a city that Abramovich resides in and is well known for pumping millions into the Chelsea soccer club he bought a few years ago.
Abramovich doesn't have any other transport business interests but does own a private Boeing 767 jet called The Bandit and is reportedly considering treating himself to one of the new Airbus A380 super-jumbos.