Zaventem rejects Schiphol offer
13 July 2004
AMSTERDAM − The Brussels airport Zaventem has rejected an offer from its Amsterdam rival Schiphol, which hopes to take a major stake in the Belgian airhub, it was reported Tuesday.
A spokeswoman for Schiphol said Zaventem shareholders − including the Belgian government − decided against putting Schiphol on the short-list of possible buyers due to price and competition reasons.
But Schiphol refused to comment further on the matter and ING bank − which is managing the sale of the Belgian government’s stake in the Brussels airport − was also tight-lipped.
It is not yet known which parties are still in the running to invest in Zaventem. The owner of the Frankfurt airport, Fraport, also indicated on Tuesday it was not interested in the Brussels airport.
A 70 percent stake in the Brussels International Airport Corporation (BIAC) − which operates Zaventem − is up for grabs. It is expected that the Belgian State will reduce its 63 percent stake in BIAC to 30 percent.
Schiphol − which has yearned for many years to extend its reach into foreign airports and currently has stakes in terminal four of JFK airport in New York and the Brisbane airport in Australia − revealed in June it wished to take a majority stake in Zaventem.
The Dutch government agreed on 2 July to sell off a large part of its stake in Schiphol in a long-awaited deal paving the way for the privatisation of the Amsterdam airport. Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm said Schiphol will not be listed on the stock market this year, but will be floated before 2007.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch + Belgian news