Hochtief has attracted at three offers for its airport unit, including bids from Fraport and Vinci (Reuters, 30-Jul-2011). The deadline for submitting bids was Friday 29-Jul-2011. Hochtief was seeking a price over EUR1 billion, but the offers have reportedly been below this level. Hochtief has reportedly shelved plans for an initial public offering for its Concessions unit, of which the airports business is a part. A Hochtief spokesman said that both an IPO and a sale remain an option for Concessions. Bidders are reportedly deterred by Hochtief’s minority stakes in various airports.
Hochtief airport unit attracts three bids
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Privatisation of airports, or at the very least their corporatisation into independent business units that behave along business lines, has again become fashionable. This follows a dip in transactions and prices during the period of the global financial downturn from 2008-2012. Money is now easier to obtain and air transport infrastructure is popular with investors as it typically has a long term cycle attached to it, usually quite the opposite of the airlines that use it.
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Meanwhile, for the airlines, this is the first time for decades that they are not caught up in a fight for survival. And on the other side, many countries are facing low levels of economic growth where infrastructure funding, while vital, is not possible out of the public purse.