Fraport AG and a consortium headed by the Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SDH) have reached agreement for the purchase of Ljubljana Airport (LJU) in the capital city of Slovenia, southeastern Europe. Winning against strong international competition in a closed bidding process on July 4, Fraport was selected by the seller side to participate in exclusive negotiations on the sale of Aerodrom Lubljana d.d., the company that operates the airport.Under the agreement, Fraport AG will pay €177.1 million for a 75.5 % stake in Aerodrom Ljubljana d.d. The acquisition will be financed from current liquid funds. As part of the privatization process, Fraport intends to acquire 100 percent of the Ljubljana airport company and, thus, will submit a takeover bid to the remaining shareholders, in accordance with legal and statutory requirements. In 2013, Ljubljana Airport welcomed about 1.3 million passengers, up from 1.2 million in 2012.Dr. Stefan Schulte, Fraport AG's executive board chairman (CEO), expressed satisfaction with the expansion of the company's international airport portfolio:
"With Ljubljana, we are adding another airport investment with dynamic development potential. The choice for Fraport underscores our position as a leading global airport manager."
Dr. Matthias Zieschang, Fraport AG's executive board member for controlling and finance (CFO), added:
"Our extensive know-how gained over many decades will enable us to further expand and strengthen Ljubljana's competitive position - a real win-win situation for everyone involved."
Historically, Ljubljana has been a strategic crossroads of trade between the Danube, Alps and Adriatic Sea. Also known as Jože Pu?nik Airport, LJU is Slovenia's national air transportation gateway and a vital infrastructure engine for the country's diversified and growing export-driven economy. In 2004 Slovenia joined the European Union (EU) and the euro zone in 2007. LJU reaches a catchment area of some 4 million inhabitants within a 250-kilometer radius, which includes border areas in neighboring Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary. The airport also serves as a hub in the Balkan region.