|Vinci vies for a 75.5% stake in Ljubljana Airport as others back out|
The French concession and construction company Vinci has offered 96.7 million euros for a 75.5% stake in Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, amid reports several companies have pulled out of the bidding process after the Slovenian government temporarily halted all privatisations in the country. Vinci is the only company so far to publicly reveal its offer for Ljubljana Airport. The French-based concession group is willing to invest fifty euros per share or a total of 96.7 million euros. Ljubljana Airport shares are currently trading at 44 euros apiece on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange. A deadline for the submission of binding bids expired over the weekend. However, the privatisation process will be temporarily halted until a new government is formed in the country following a snap election this Sunday.
Recently, Vinci Chairman, Nicolas Notebaert, said he was confident his company can contribute to the development of Ljubljana Airport. He explained the airport would retain its name and location if Vinci was successful in its quest to purchase a majority stake. Mr. Notebaert added the company’s main acquisition model is through Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and the goal is to establish a decentralised system in which Ljubljana Airport is at the centre and not a branch of Vinci-owned airports in Paris or Lisbon. He explained one of the company’s key objectives would be to grow traffic at Slovenia’s busiest airport, and growth in traffic and investments “go hand-in-hand”.
According to the Slovenian “Finance” portal, a total of three companies have pulled out of the bidding process after Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek announced she was suspending all privatisations until a new government is formed as certain sales could be reconsidered. Potential investors were further spooked over the weekend when political newcomer Miro Cerar, whose SMC party has topped opinion polls for the upcoming election, said he opposed the sale of Ljubljana Airport and would reconsider some privatisations initiated by the outgoing government. However, Mr. Cerar admitted he was “not sure” if the process could be stopped at this point.