The Economy Minister of France has announced the sale of the government's 60% stakes in the Lyon-Saint-Exupery and Nice Cote d'Azur airports through the release of the privatization tender rules.
Bidders are expected to submit indicative offers the week starting April 25 and firm offers in June, with a decision scheduled for the end of July or early August, although the dates can vary.
According to the experts, Nice airport has a value of at least €1.5 billion (US$1.6 billion) while Lyon could be worth about €900 million (US$1 billion).
Ardian and Changi Airports have plans to jointly bid for the assets. Spanish infrastructure developer Ferrovial would bid together with Meridiam for the two airports, according to Reuters.
Vinci has already said it will bid for the assets as well. Other bidders may include: Aéroports de Lyon, Atlantia, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), Malaysia Airport, Ontario Teachers Pension Plan and the sovereign funds of Singapore and Abu Dhabi.
Agence des participations de l'État (APE), a vehicle of the Government of France managing the state's holdings in several firms, hired HSBC and Mediobanca as consultants for the two airport privatization processes.
Nice Côte d'Azur Airport is an international airport located 5.9 km southwest of Nice, in the Alpes-Maritimes départment of France. It is the third busiest airport in France. In 2013, it handled 11.55 million passengers. The airport's theoretical capacity is 13 million passengers and 52 movements (26 landings) per hour.
Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Airport is the international airport of Lyon, the third-biggest city in France and an important transport facility for the entire Rhône-Alpes region. In 2013, the airport served 8.56 million passengers, an increase of 1.3% over the previous year. Air freight increased by 22.7% to 44,820 tonnes, although overall aircraft movements dropped by 2.8% to 113,420.