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Japan’s Kansai Airport Company considering foreign and domestic investors for Osaka airports

Japan’s New Kansai International Airport Company (NKIAC) president Keiichi Ando revealed the company has started considering foreign and domestic investors to manage the airports for 40-50 years. The company aims to raise USD7 billion to USD15 billion in the privatisation process. This could be the first of 29 airport privatisations there.

Mr Ando commented, “This is the first large infrastructure transaction in Japan and…if it succeeds, the government intends to privatise regional airports as well. In addition, there is also talk that it will be necessary to privatise infrastructure, such as toll roads,” Mr Ando said. The deal, which is expected to be completed in 2015, would involve private investors managing both the Kansai International and Osaka International (Itami) airports, whose managements were integrated into a new company this year to help offset Kansai’s enormous debt burden and in preparation for a privatisation procedure.

The new company is a wholly-owned one that owns the runways at the airports, the land assets of Osaka Airport and Kansai Airport's terminal building. After the successful integration of the management of the airports, the government now aims to sell the right to operate the airports to the private sector.

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