Portugal is only steps away from selling its airport operator and state airline
The sun sets at Porto Airport in Portugal. Mark Hillary / Flickr.com
Portugal is desperately trying to raise money after seeking a bailout from the IMF and EU last year, and is turning over its national aviation assets for a profit boost.
Portugal’s state airport operator will get binding bids from Zurich’s main hub and Corporacion America of Argentina, the companies said. Vinci SA will also make an offer, according to a person familiar with the sale.
Flughafen Zurich AG will bid for ANA-Aeroportos de Portugal SA by today’s deadline, spokeswoman Sonja Zoechling said by phone from the Swiss city. Corporacion America, which runs 49 airports in Latin America and Europe, said Dec. 10 it would bid.
Vinci of France is poised to submit proposals, according to the person, who asked not to be identified, saying the process was private. Europe’s top builder made a 2.5 billion-euro ($3.3 billion) offer for ANA, the highest received, when non-binding bids were submitted last month, another person said last week.
Portugal is auctioning ANA to raise money after seeking a bailout last year from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Of the two other short-listed bidders identified by the government on Nov. 15, Colombian builder Grupo Odinsa SA has dropped out and Frankfurt airport owner Fraport AG can’t say if it’s involved, spokesman Robert Payne said in an e-mail.
Zurich airport has since teamed up with Brazilian motorway operator CCR SA and Global Infrastructure Partners to pursue the deal, while Corporacion America is bidding with Lisbon-based Sonae Sierra, which develops and leases shopping centers.
Fraport’s short-listed bid was made with Industry Funds Management Pty Ltd. of Australia.
Portugal has hired Barclays Plc, Banco Espirito Santo SA, Citigroup Inc. and Credit Suisse Group AG as advisers on the disposal of ANA and state airline TAP SA, which it also wants to sell. The government expects to find buyers for both by the year’s end and conclude deals early in 2013, Maria Luis Albuquerque, secretary of state for treasury, said last month.
With assistance from Francois de Beaupuy in Paris, Joao Lima in Lisbon and Kari Lundgren in London. Editors: Chris Jasper and Chad Thomas.
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