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Germany's Fraport in talks to buy 49 pct of China regional airport


SHANGHAI (XFNews) - Fraport AG, owner and operator of Frankfurt Airport, is in talks to purchase 49 pct of Xi'an Xianyang international airport, the Shanghai Securities News reported, citing Michael Kunz, Fraport's chief representative for China.

The talks between the two parties are at an advanced stage, and negotiations are now focusing on the deal's details, he said.

However, Yuan Chunguang, an official from Shanxi provincial airport management group, told the newspaper only that Fraport is one of the parties are interested in investing in the airport.

"Two or three strategic investors" may eventually join the purchase, Yuan said.

Yang Ou, another official from the local airport management group, told the newspaper that companies that have expressed interest include Shanghai Hongqiao airport, Shanghai Pudong airport, China Eastern Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Guangzhou Baiyun airport, China Southern Airlines, and Air China.

Xianyang airport does not have many international flights so foreign airlines may not be viable strategic investors, Tang said.

Yang added the final decision will be made by the end of this year.

The local airport currently does not have plans for an IPO, as it reported a net loss for 2004 and 2005.

Last year, Fraport bought a 25 pct stake in Ningbo's Lishe airport in eastern China.

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