Dutch govt sees IPO for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in 2006


AMSTERDAM (XFNews) - The best option for partially privatising the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is through an initial public offering of shares, the finance ministry said in a statement.

Ideally the IPO would take place next year, the ministry has told parliament.

The Dutch parliament approved in June the privatisation of a minority stake in Schiphol, on the condition the government maintains the majority of shares and control of the airport.

Since then a ministry investigation has shown that an IPO, rather than privately selling shares in the airport, would be the best option, the ministry said. This allows the government to maintain control and gives the company the ability to raise future capital.

Schiphol's management has traditionally supported a stock listing as a means for financing expansion.

From a financial perspective, the private sale of shares may raise more, but could also heavily indebted Schiphol, the ministry said. Meanwhile, other publicly listed airports are trading at historical highs, showing an IPO could also generate significant proceeds.

The Dutch State controls the majority of shares in Schiphol, while the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam also have stakes.

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