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After Sydney Airport: Who's buying, who's selling airports?

Premium Analysis

Within the past few weeks there have been takeover attempts launched for Sydney Airport, a publicly stock-market listed company, on the basis of greater economic certainty for investors, and for part of Budapest Airport, the latter emanating from the Hungarian government and for outright political reasons.

After a lengthy period with very little M&A activity in the sector these two potential transactions took it by surprise, and they suggest that there may be more to come.

Listed companies are the easiest target because there may be private investors to be swayed along with institutional ones that are ‘in airports’ because they once felt they should be, but which are open to an offer they can’t refuse in these uncertain times. But there are comparatively few of those.

This report examines examples of other airports and groups that might be takeover targets or open to minority investment from new sources, and at how the coronavirus pandemic might have changed the outlook for the privatisation of airports – including in some countries where there is little of it so far.

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