Aena to sell Aena Aeropuertos by 51% after buying Luton Airport

Today, we are translating this piece of news that eldiario.es published yesterday. We believe this may help to follow the current situation in the privatisation of Aena Aeropuertos:

Sources from Aena have confirmed they are about to reach an agreement with Abertis in order to disinvest from twenty international airports that they own and manage through TBI. They intend to get rid of all but Luton Airport.

All the shares from TBI—currently Abertis (90%) and Aena (10%)—would go to the public company, with the financial support from the insurance company AXA.

Experts from the airport industry have assured that the acquisition of Luton by Aena is directly related to the privatisation of Aena Aeropuertos—a part of Aena—expected for the spring of 2014.

Luton receives around 15 million passengers per year. With this, the Aena’s board could aim to compensate the poor numbers of the 47 airport Spanish net. In fact, between 2008 and 2012, the Aena airports lost 16.3 million passengers.

Sale of 51%
Reliable sources assure that both the Ministry of Public Works and Aena would now be considering the privatisation of up to 51%. Thus The Ministry would be forced to lose the control over Aena.

The Royal Decree which empowers the privatisation of Aena Aeropuertos fixes a limit in 49%. However, sources close to the Government have said that the acquisition of a minority shareholding is not interesting to investors and would end up reducing the value of the disinvestment for the State. So as soon as the guidelines for the privatisation are known “they will be able to fix a new target in the percentage to be sold” at the same time “they reinforce the competences in the public entities of airport management”.

TBI Dissolution
The evidence that the Government has decided to reactivate the privatisation of Aena Aeropuertos was the fact that this week Abertis and Aena announced they had reached an agreement with ADC & HAD Airports Worldwide to sell them Belfast and Stockholm Skavsta airports as well as the Orlando Sanford Airport management and the other business that TBI has in the United States. The operation has been fixed in 284 million euros.

Abertis and Aena also participate in a Mexican company which owns 15 airports in Mexico and Jamaica. The disinvestment in this company would also be a part of the operation for Aena to take over Luton Airport.

Sources from the Aena unions said they will have to clarify as to why they buy a new airport and how it is going to be paid when they have just made 1,600 employees redundant.

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