Banks smell the colour of AENA’s money

By Doug Newhouse |

Spanish state-owned airport authority Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea (AENA) is progressing its plan to sell a 49% minority interest valued at E.30bn ($43.4bn) to the private sector, having attracted the attention of nine investment banks all eager to advise it on the IPO for a fee of at least E.2m ($2.8m).

The government’s intention to sell a minority holding was announced last December as part of its efforts to reduce the country’s huge public deficit [For details, click″]

If the original plan goes ahead the current AENA will be split into two parts: the Airport division will be partially privatized, while the other – the Air Navigation division – will remain in state hands.

In addition to the sale of 49% in AENA, the government is also proposing that Madrid Barajas and Barcelona El Prat airports will be put out to tender on a concession basis – possibly for up to 40 years.

AENA has announced that the nine investment banks eager to relieve it of E.2m ($2.8m) for the two-year advisory contract – plus additional fees based on the final sale price obtained – are as follows: BBVA, Royal Bank of Scotland, BNP Paribas, Citigroup Global Markets, Credit Agricole, HSBC, Credit Suisse Securities, Societe Generale and Goldman Sachs.

As already reported, the sale of 49% of AENA will also be followed by the privatisation of Spain’s biggest airports, Madrid and Barcelona, with 40-year contracts said to be planned for each airport.

However, some analysts believe that the attraction of the significant investment opportunities in the country’s two biggest airports – Madrid and Barcelona – could prove to be quite distracting for many investors rather more than a 49% stake in AENA.


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