* To keep minority stakes in firms it sells
* Eyes electronics, optics, machine-building, biotech sales
By Gleb Stolyarov
MOSCOW, March 1 Russian state conglomerate
Rostec has put on hold a plan to list its helicopters business
and still intends to list half a dozen other units in coming
years, its head, Sergei Chemezov, said.
Rostec, formerly Russian Technologies, met little interest
in 2011 when it tried to sell shares in the maker of the Mi8
helicopter - which has gunship and transporter variants.
Chemezov, who served in Soviet intelligence in 1980s East
Germany with President Vladimir Putin, said listing Russian
Helicopters would make sense once its international business and
global service network were more developed.
"Our advisers believe that it would not make sense for
Russian Helicopters to carry out an initial public offering
now," Chemezov told Reuters in an interview on Friday.
"As soon as markets pick up and we increase the
profitability of the asset, we will move. I hope we will manage
to do so in the next few years."
Rostec, whose interests span arms to metallurgy, manages the
legacy of the Soviet Union's military-industrial complex and has
annual sales of around $17 billion.
Chemezov has been criticised for being too acquisitive and
failing to restructure loss-making businesses.
He did, however, complete two large stake sales last year -
of leading titanium producer VSMPO-Avisma via a management
buyout, and of a stake in carmaker AvtoVaz to
Franco-Japanese alliance Renault-Nissan .
Rostec retained blocking minority stakes in both companies,
giving it an effective right of veto on strategic decisions.
That is a level Chemezov said he planned to keep in Rostec's
civilian businesses, and those producing "dual-use" technology
that could be converted for military ends.
FULL ORDER BOOK
Russian Helicopters, the world's No.3 helicopter producer,
is showing strong top-line growth, with sales up 42 percent in
the first half of 2012 to 60.3 billion roubles ($2.0 billion).
Its core operating profit margin, measured as earnings
before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation
(EBITDA), is 15 percent, while its net margin is 5 percent.
"Our helicopters business is developing very positively. Our
order book today is 900 machines worth $14 billion. We are
booked solid until 2020," said Chemezov.
"What we need to do now is develop our service and
maintenance business. We are opening service centres in India,
China and Latin America. These are our key markets."
Other Rostec units being prepared for eventual stake sales
include measuring instruments and electronic warfare group
Radioelectronic Technologies and optical devices group Shvabe,
Also slated for eventual sale are Russian Electronics, which
specialises in microwave engineering, semi-conductor devices and
materials; turbine and aero engine maker ODK; and biotechnology,
pharmacy and medical equipment group RT-Biotechprom.
($1 = 30.60 roubles)
(Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Megan Davies and Dan