Groups from five countries bid for Spain's top airports

5th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Seven consortiums from five countries are bidding for stakes in Madrid and Barcelona airports following the government's decision to partially privatise the facilities, airport operating authority AENA said Monday.

The government hopes the sale of the airports in Spain's two largest cities will bring in around 5.3 billion euros ($8.2 billion) for the public coffers to help rein in a massive public deficit.

Each of the airports, 90.05 percent of which are being privatised, has received six bidders, five of whom are making offers for both facilities, AENA said in a statement.

Consortiums led by Spain's Ferrovial, India's GMR Infrastructure, Singapore's Changi Airport, the French Aeroports de Paris and Germany's Fraport are eyeing both airports.

For Madrid's Barajas airport, Spain's Grupo San Jose group is also a bidder, while Spanish group Abertis is on the list of those seeking Barcelona's El Prat.

"AENA appreciates the large numbers of candidatures presented, as it's proof of the interest of national and international companies in the management of the two main Spanish airports," it said.

AENA will next week announce the list of companies that fulfill the conditions to take part in the second part of the bidding process, in which they will present technical and economic details.

The Spanish government announced on July 15 that it had approved the launching of bids for stakes in the two airports, as well as 49 percent of AENA itself.

The call for bids involves more than 90 percent of the management contracts for the two airports - 3.7 billion euros for Barajas and 1.6 billion euros for El Prat -- for 20 years, extendable by a further five years.

The process is to be completed at the end of November.

The winning group will have three months before taking over the airports, which would likely take place in early 2012.

The sale is part of the Madrid government's effort to cut the public deficit from 9.24 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 to the eurozone ceiling of 3.0 percent in 2013.

© 2011 AFP

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