Bloomberg News

Spain’s PP to Analyze Airport Model Before Privatizing Aena

October 14, 2011

(Updates with details on airport concessions starting in third paragraph, additional comment from Ayala in fourth.)

Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Spain’s People’s Party will reconsider the sale of airport-management contracts and the sale of a stake in state-owned airport operator Aena Aeropuertos SA if it wins the election on Nov. 20, as polls indicate it will.

“Selling airport concession contracts can be appropriate when the circumstances are right,” Andres Ayala, the PP’s infrastructure spokesman, said on Onda Cero radio today. “This requires first analyzing the whole airport model.”

Aena Aeropuertos said yesterday its plans to extend the period to present offers for the Madrid Barajas and Barcelona El Prat airport concessions by three months until Jan. 31. Spain’s government had initially set a deadline of Oct. 31 for companies including Ferrovial SA to present bids for the countries’ two largest airports as it aims to reduce the amount of debt it needs to issue this year.

“It is necessary to say what we’ll do with all the airports and not only the two which seem most emblematic but aren’t the most profitable at the moment,” Ayala said.

The Socialist government aimed to raise at least 3.7 billion euros ($5.1 billion) from the contract for Madrid Barajas airport and 1.6 billion euros from Barcelona El Prat.

Spain’s Finance Ministry yesterday denied any impact on the country’s debt issuance. Potential revenue from the sale wasn’t been taken into account in the calendar, which remains unchanged, said a spokeswoman, who declined to be named in line with government policy.

Deadline Extension

The deadline was extended because of the difficulties encountered by potential bidders in raising funds, Aena said. The conditions for the concessions remain the same, it added.

Ferrovial, the owner of London’s Heathrow, has teamed up with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Australia’s Industry Funds Management Pty Ltd. and Infinity Investments of Abu Dhabi for its offer to run both airports, while Acciona SA is allied to Frankfurt airport operator Fraport AG.

A group led by Fomento de Construcciones & Contratas SA and including Singapore’s Changi Airport Group and Munich-based Siemens AG is also bidding for the two hubs, as is GMR Infrastructure Ltd. of India and a team including Aeroports de Paris and Global Infrastructure Partners of the U.S.

Grupo San Jose is bidding solely for Madrid Barajas, while Barcelona-based Abertis Infraestructuras SA wants to run only its home city’s hub.

--Editors: Fergal O’Brien, Eddie Buckle

To contact the reporter on this story: Angeline Benoit in Madrid at abenoit4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Craig Stirling at cstirling1@bloomberg.net


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