News / Spain seeks to privatise up to 60 % of airport operator Aena according to official report

Spain seeks to privatise up to 60 % of airport operator Aena according to official report

🕔 October 30, 2013
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Spain is seeking three to five core investors to buy 20 to 30 % of airport operator Aena and may then float further shares to leave as much as 60 % of the company in private hands, according to an official report.

The Privatisation Consulting Council (CCP) study made public on Monday was commissioned by Aena to assess the legal basis for the government's privatisation plan. Details of the plan were unknown until now.

Investment bank Lazard and Spain's N+1 brokerage are advising Aena, which operates 46 Spanish airports and London's Luton, and has stakes in 14 Latin American airports.

Under the plan prepared by Aena, each core investor would acquire between 5 and 10 % of Aena. This is a limitation for some infrastructure companies and investors, which may not be interested unless they can take a controlling share.

According to the report, the tender process would have two stages. First, the government would assess technical capabilities of each investor. Then, after a selection of qualified bidders, firms would have to bid their maximum share price for the future IPO. This price would be their maximum offer for the stake.

Aena has debts of €13 billion from rapid expansion during Spain's construction bubble. Aena invested €15.6 billion from 2000 to 2010.Its 194 million passengers last year were nearly twice that of its closest European rival, the British Airports Authority (BAA), with 109 million passengers last year, or Airports de Paris, with 89 million.Aena could be worth anywhere from €12 billion to €16 billion, with peers trading at an enterprise value of some 8 times to 10 times EBITDA. Aena is expected to return to profit this year, after registering losses in 2011 and 2012. EBITDA for 2013 is forecast at €1.491 billion euros.

Prospective buyers of Spanish airports operator Aena are being put off by the situation of Madrid's main airport, which represents 20 % of Aena's income.

Due to the economic crisis, traffic to Barajas airport has dropped and the airport  is now only operating at 60 % capacity.

Read the mentioned study:

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