Portugal unloads state airport operator to French concessions company for $4.07 billion

Skift Take

With the sale of ANA, Portugal has exceeded its goal of raising 5.5 billion euro to repair debts, which could be one reason why it rejected the only bid that came in for state-owned airline TAPA last week.

— Samantha Shankman

Portugal’s government agreed to sell state-owned airport operator ANA-Aeroportos de Portugal SA to Vinci SA for 3.08 billion euros ($4.07 billion), raising money for the debt-strapped country.

Vinci’s offer was the highest out of the four binding bids that the government received for ANA, Maria Luis Albuquerque, Portugal’s secretary of state for treasury, said at a press conference in Lisbon today. The government plans to conclude the sale early next year, she said.

Vinci, which operates regional airports in France and Cambodia, beat three other bidders for the company, which manages airports in Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve region. Portugal opted to sell ANA after seeking a bailout by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union last year.

Portugal has already sold stakes in utility company EDP- Energias de Portugal SA and energy-grid operator REN-Redes Energeticas Nacionais. It still plans to sell state-owned airline TAP SGPS SA after rejecting an offer from Brazilian investor German Efromovich last week.

With the sale of ANA, Portugal will raise 6.4 billion euros from the disposal of state-owned assets, beating its goal of raising 5.5 billion euro from asset sales while it’s receiving aid from the European Union and International Monetary Fund, Albuquerque said.

Vinci strategy

The deal is part of Vinci Chief Executive Officer Xavier Huillard’s plan to expand the builder’s business managing airports and other transport assets. The steady revenue from gate fees and retailers is aimed at reducing Vinci’s exposure to France’s construction sector and making the company, based near Paris, more resistant to economic swings.

The other three groups bidding for ANA were Frankfurt airport owner Fraport AG with Industry Funds Management Pty Ltd. of Australia, Switzerland’s Flughafen Zurich AG with Brazilian motorway operator CCR SA, and Argentina’s Corporacion America, which operates 49 airports in Latin America and Europe.

Fraport bid 2.44 billion euros, Corporacion America offered 2.41 billion euros and requested to pay part of that value within a 10-year period, and Flughafen Zurich bid 2 billion euros, Sergio Monteiro, the secretary of state for public works, transport and communications said at the press conference.

Editors: Jim Silver and Andrea Snyder.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henrique Almeida in Lisbon at [email protected] To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at [email protected]; Chad Thomas at [email protected]

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