|Fraport buys Ljubljana Airport and seeks 100% stake|
German operator Fraport has reached an agreement for the purchase of a 75.5% stake of Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport yesterday, winning against strong international competition in a closed bidding process. Under the agreement, Fraport will pay 177.1 million euros for the majority stake. The acquisition will be financed from current liquid funds. As part of the privatisation process, Fraport intends to acquire 100% of the airport company valued at 234 million euros. Therefore, it will submit a takeover bid to the remaining shareholders, in accordance with legal and statutory requirements. Ljubljana Airport shares rose by 5.3% to sixty euros in trading on Friday, while Fraport was up 2%, following the takeover announcement.
Fraport CEO, Stefan Schulte, expressed his satisfaction with the expansion of the company’s international airport portfolio. “With Ljubljana, we are adding another airport investment with dynamic development potential. The choice for Fraport underscores our position as a leading global airport manager”, Mr. Schulte said. He added the company plans to expand passenger and cargo transport at Ljubljana Airport, increase profit and the number of employees, but gave no figures. "We are here as long term investors. We are looking for a long term development of Ljubljana Airport. The profitability of the airport is good and has no dilutive effect", Mr. Schulte told a press conference after signing the sales contract. Matthias Zieschang, Fraport’s Chief Financial Officer, added, “Our extensive know-how gained over many decades will enable us to further expand and strengthen Ljubljana’s competitive position - a real win-win situation for everyone involved”.
French concession and construction company, Vinci, yesterday requested a new round of negotiations on the sale after increasing its offer, but its proposal was rejected by the Slovenian Sovereign Holding, which has been managing Ljubljana Airport's privatisation process. Fraport, which also owns stakes in airports in Lima, Antalya, Varna and Burgas, among others, has been looking to extend its international operations and recently made its first foray into the United States with a deal to buy an airport retail management company. Ljubljana Airport handled 1.3 million passengers in 2013, earning a net profit of 5.2 million euros and recording revenue of some 31 million euros. It is one of fifteen state run companies that Slovenia's outgoing centre-left government had slated for privatisation last year and the third of them to be sold.