|Vinci ups bid for Ljubljana after Fraport lowers offer|
Fraport’s takeover of a 75.5% stake in Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport is facing growing opposition after the German operator slashed its initial offer. The move has prompted French concession and construction company Vinci to up its initial bid. Fraport’s takeover of Slovenia’s busiest airport was due to take place last Friday, however, the process has been delayed. Vinci has now offered 55 euros per share, up from fifty, for the majority takeover of Slovenia’s busiest airport. “We are confident that with this revised offer we are back in the competition, which will make the sales process more transparent and effective. We also believe our offer is in the national interest”, Vinci said in a statement.
Despite arguments that the German conglomerate Fraport, which manages one of Europe’s busiest airports, Frankfurt, among others, will turn Ljubljana into a peripheral airport in its growing empire, the company is a firm favourite to take over Slovenia’s busiest airport. A signing ceremony for the purchase of a majority stake could take place tomorrow if the European Commission approves the takeover by then. According to Slovenian media, Fraport has committed itself to turning Ljubljana Airport into a major cargo hub, however, it has not outlined any plans to build a second terminal at the airport. Fraport is yet to make any official comment on its plans for Jože Pučnik Airport.
On the other hand, Vinci Chairman, Nicolas Notebaert, recently said he was confident his company can contribute to the development of Ljubljana Airport. He explained the airport would keep both its name and location if Vinci was successful in its quest to purchase a majority stake. “We are confident that we can contribute to the development of Ljubljana Airport. If we purchase it, the airport will retain its name and location and will not become French overnight”, Mr. Notebaert said. He 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”.