Australia's IFM Investors has announced that the IFM Global Infrastructure Fund (IFM GIF) intends to launch a public voluntary offer to acquire a non-controlling minority stake of between 20% and 29.9% of the share capital of Flughafen Wien AG through its indirect subsidiary, Airports Group Europe S.à r.l..
Flughafen Wien AG, one of the few publicly traded airport operators in Europe, was privatised in 1992. The state of Lower Austria and the City of Vienna each hold 20% of the shares, the private employee participation foundation holds 10%, with the remaining 50% held privately. The shares are part of the Austrian Traded Index.
Werner Kerschl, a director at IFM, told reporters in Vienna:
"We regard Vienna airport as a very well-managed, attractive company with a very strong base in a region that offers the growth and the strength we're seeking."
The vast majority of investors in IFM GIF are institutional pension funds investing on behalf of millions of individual workers, spread over multiple jurisdictions including Australia, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, the United States and Canada.
The price per share will amount to €80 and represents a premium of 29.7% over the closing share price of Friday, October 10, 2014.
IFM Investors plans to spend as much as €502 million ($636 million) for the deal.
IFM Investors already owns a stake in Manchester Airports Group, which bought Stansted in 2013, and holdings in Australian terminals in cities including Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide.