German construction company HOCHTIEF has said that the sale of its airport business arm has been delayed and may no longer happen this year because of the “macroeconomic situation”.
In a statement the company said that “the global economic and financial market turbulence has not passed HOCHTIEF by” and if the sale of its airport operating business is not completed by the end of the year it is likely to post a net loss.
HOCHTIEF said that it was still in “close negotiations” and was “confident” of sealing the transaction in the near future, however it added: “it is nonetheless possible that this will no longer happen in 2011 as previously announced”.
Frank Stieler, chairman of the executive board at HOCHTIEF, said: “The bidders continue to show keen interest in our airports business. Sales and passenger numbers are up at our airports in the current fiscal year.”
Even if the sale of the airport business no longer takes place in 2011, HOCHTIEF still expects “strong operating earnings (EBITA) of around €100 million” but there would be “a loss before taxes in the low double-digit millions of euros” and a consolidated net loss of approximately €100 million.
According to Reuters, HOCHTIEF’s sale of its airport-operating business has stalled due to concerns over the spreading sovereign-debt crisis among investors.
Talks with China’s HNA Group – the parent company of Chinese airline Hainan Airlines – and France’s Vinci are ongoing, however the parties have hit obstacles over the price, people close to the situation told the news agency.
According to reports, bids for the airport operations of the company currently exceed €1.3 billion.
Fraport and the Deutsche Bank AG (DB) subsidiary RREEF pulled out of the bidding process in September.
HOCTHIEF AirPort currently has stakes in six airports worldwide, including Athens, Budapest, Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Tirana in Europe and Sydney in Australia.