S7 Airlines (S7, Novosibirsk) chief executive and shareholder Vladislav Filev has signed a Letter of Intent to acquire "at least 51% of the shares" in financially ailing Russian carrier Transaero Airlines (UN, Moscow Vnukovo) from founder and majority shareholder, Alexander Pleshakov.

Announcing the deal to Russia's RBC alongside Pleshakov, Filev did not disclose who the other investors are or what the value of the transaction is. He did however, underscore that it was "significantly more than 1 Rouble" - a slight at Aeroflot Group's failed bid to acquire 75%+1 share of Transaero stock made last month.

According to Pleshakov, he undertook the deal to avoid Aeroflot monopolizing the Russian market.

"I prepared this agreement in part because I wanted to prevent the monopolization of the aviation market; so that passengers and industry employees have the opportunity to choose between airlines," he said. "In addition, our goal was not to punish our long-term partners and creditors which would undoubtedly suffer adversely in the event of bankruptcy."

Though Alexander and his wife Olga Pleshakova reportedly controlled 46.55% of Transaero shares, Pleshakova revealed last month that her husband's control had since risen to "slightly less than 60%".

Filev added that S7 "has a plan to normalize relations with Transaero creditors" who are collectively owed over RUB250 billion (USD3.8 billion) of which RUB150 billion (USD2.42 billion) is owed to leasing firms while RUB20 billion (USD323.76 million) is owed to airports and fuel companies.

Russia's S7 Group, parent firm of S7 Airlines (S7, Novosibirsk) and Globus (GH, Novosibirsk) among others, is also a husband and wife run operation with Vladislav and Natalya Filev its majority shareholders.