Chinese consortium wins Toulouse airport privatization

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Chinese consortium wins Toulouse airport privatization

A cosnsortium composed by Chinese state-owned group Shandong Hi-Speed Group and Hong Kong-based investment company Friedmann Pacific Asset Management has won the tender process to buy the 49.99% stake in Toulouse-Blagnac airport, in France.

The Chinese consortium will pay €308 million (US$380.3 million) to the French government.

According to sources, the privatization process of the fourth airport in France in terms of passenger traffic will be done in two phases. In the second phase the new shareholder will increase an additional 10.1% stake in the airport totaling a 60% stake. Under this transaction the French government retains a 10.01 percent stake in the airport.

Toulouse-Blagnac airport has been a limited liability company since 23 March 2007. Before the privatization process, shareholders included:

  • the French government (60%),
  • Toulouse Chamber of Commerce and Industry (25%),
  • the Regional Council (5%),
  • the Departmental Council (5%) and
  • the Urban Area (5%).

Toulouse-Blagnac Airport S.A. operates under a franchise agreement granted by the French government until 2046.

The airport is located 6.7 km west northwest of Toulouse, and partially in Blagnac, both communes of the Haute-Garonne department in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France. Toulouse-Blagnac airport handled more than 7.5 million passengers in 2013, generating revenue of €117.4 million and net profit of 10.6 million. The airport aims to increase traffic to 18 million by 2030.

The airport is used by European aerospace giant Airbus, which is headquartered nearby, to test and assemble planes. The finance ministry reported in a statement that the consortium had promised to take into account the long-term interests of Airbus.

The finance ministry added that the government has no plans to sell any of the infrastructure, such as buildings or runways, which remain the property of the state.

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