Dutch State sells off part stake in Schiphol

2nd July 2004, Comments 0 comments

2 July 2004 , AMSTERDAM − The Dutch government agreed on Friday to sell off a large part of its stake in Schiphol Airport in a long-awaited deal paving the way for the privatisation of the Amsterdam air hub. The Dutch State presently has a 75.8 percent stake in the Amsterdam airport and after the sell off will maintain a 51 percent majority share of Schiphol with cities Amsterdam and Rotterdam, which hold 21.8 percent and 2.4 percent stakes respectively in the airport.

2 July 2004

AMSTERDAM − The Dutch government agreed on Friday to sell off a large part of its stake in Schiphol Airport in a long-awaited deal paving the way for the privatisation of the Amsterdam air hub.
 
The Dutch State presently has a 75.8 percent stake in the Amsterdam airport and after the sell off will maintain a 51 percent majority share of Schiphol with cities Amsterdam and Rotterdam, which hold 21.8 percent and 2.4 percent stakes respectively in the airport.

Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm said the sale will help finance road and railway construction. But he also said Schiphol will not be listed on the stock market this year, but will be floated before 2007.

The Cabinet said listing Schiphol is important to maintain its competitiveness with other airports, such as Frankfurt and London which are already privatised. Schiphol will able to raise funds by way of a share offer.

The government will maintain tight supervision of the capacity, investment policy and finances of Schiphol. The Cabinet claims its supervisory role will only improve by selling off part of its stake.

The ground that Schiphol is built on will come under State ownership and the airport − the hub of KLM and one of Europe's busiest airports − will lease rights from the government to exploit the area.
 
Coalition partner Liberal VVD was keen for Schiphol to be listed on the stock market as quickly as possible, but both the CDA and the Democrat D66 were concerned that employment and the environment will be placed at threat.

Schiphol director Gerlach Cerfontaine wanted a quick privatisation, which has been the subject of discussions for the past seven years. Cerfontaine intends to use Schiphol's stock market to finance its expansion in foreign countries.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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