Sunday, August 10, 2014

French and Chinese up Ljubljana Airport offer

Vinci and Friedmann Pacific respond to Fraport offer

French concession and construction company Vinci, as well as Friedmann Pacific Investment Holding, have upped their bids for the purchase of a 75.5% stake in Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport. It comes after the state investment firm Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SDH), which is in charge of selling state assets, announced it was entering exclusive talks with Germany’s Fraport for the airport’s takeover. Vinci runs a total of 23 airports across France, Portugal and Cambodia. On the other hand, the Hong Kong-based Friedmann Pacific owns China Aircraft Leasing Group, the country’s largest aircraft operating leaser. The company also recently formed a consortium for the purchase of Athens Airport.

However, despite the increased offers by the French and Chinese, Fraport is still believed to be a frontrunner in the bidding process. According to local media, the German conglomerate has offered 63 euros per share, compared to an earlier offer by Vinci of fifty euros per share. Ljubljana Airport shares are currently trading at 44 euros apiece on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange. Experts have criticised the SHD’s decision to immediately enter talks with an interested party, saying the asset seller has decreased the chances of igniting a bidding war and thus decreased Ljubljana Airport’s final sales price.

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”. The other three bidding companies, Fraport, Friedmann Pacific and Italy’s Save, have not publicly discussed their plans for Jože Pučnik Airport.

14 comments:

  1. Selling an airport is beyond me. It is one of the most strategically important assets any country can have. LJU was operating with a profit, the state even offered to build a new terminal which they rejected. On the whole the airport is efficient. The only problem it has is its overdependence on Adria and competition from nearby airports in other countries. But a smart and professional management team could have overcome this without selling the airport. You don’t need Germans to come in and tell you how to attract other airlines.

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    1. It wasn't up to Slovenia to decide if they want to sell the airport or not. It was decided for us by the EU.

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    2. govt. will retain ownership of the runway which is the only strategically important part of the airport

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  2. So we will have a German owned airport with a de facto German owned national airline which is focusing on routes like Munich-Lodz, Frankfurt-Pristina and Frankfurt-Tirana. Great!

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  3. Absolutely correct airport will be sold. Stop Socialism in ex Yu Countries. Only clear investments we hve seen are in PRN SKP ZAG. All airport run by Foreign Capital. Good so.
    Lju Airport cld make much more profit, but they are incapable, thats why u need international control.

    important to choose will be not nec who offers the most but also to take a look at Fraport, Vincis, Others how they manage their other airports. Not nec Frankfurt but also Lima, Varna etc. Vincis in Portugal, Nantes etc
    That will be crucial.

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  4. I liked VINCI offer because they clearly say they won’t make Ljubljana some unimportant airport in their network. I fear this will happen with Fraport like with airlines under Lufthansa’s wings.

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  5. Get rid of the Germans in Slovenia!!! They are trying to infiltrate the country. Do not sell LJU to Fraport. It's only another Lufthansa domineering strategy!

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    1. Haha calm down :D

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    2. p.s noticing people aren't big Lufthansa fans here

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    3. Yep, some Serbians here hate Lufthansa and Star Alliance, they want all the cake for themselves and Lufthansa is making things difficult. haha

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  6. Think about this for a minute: out of many daily departures from Belgrade, Air Serbia has only one daily flight to Abu Dhabi to feed Etihad connections. Compare that to number of Adria's flights going from various places into Lufthansa Group hubs (FRA, MUC, ZRH and VIE) as a percentage of overall Adria flights, and it's clear Adria is effectively far more controlled by LH Group than Air Serbia is by Etihad.

    What is even more bizarre, LH Group did it without investing in 49% of ownership of Adria, but rather by allowing smaller airlines (Croatia is in a similar position) to step into alliance trap and then have route map effectively controlled and managed by Star alliance proxy.

    Which also explains why Lufthansa didn't want to invest into Jat (and Alitalia) even with appetizing financial package later offered to Etihad: Lufti does not want those airlines to succeed on their own, they want them either completely out or so weak and dependent on LH that feeding LH Group hubs is their primary choice for survival. Now how can you expect love for Lufthansa after that?

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  7. This has got nothing to do with Lufthansa or German airlines. Ever since Fraport took over BOJ and VAR - both airports now have brand new terminals, airport equipment, etc. If the state failed to deal with them, then why not allow LJU follow the same path? Nationalism is not always a good thing.

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