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NEWS Last modified on August 1, 2016

Fraport agrees to sell 10.5% stake in Russian gateway

Fraport has agreed to sell a 10.5% stake in Thalita Trading Ltd, the parent company of Northern Capital Gateway LLC consortium, which has the 30-year concession to operate St Petersburg's Pulkovo Airport.

The sale, to the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), will leave the German airport operator with a 25% interest in the Russian gateway.

Based on the current book value, Fraport expects profit from the transaction to range between €30 million and €40 million euros – which in its total sum will impact the Group EBITDA, EBIT and EBT for the 2016 business year and will positively influence the Group result.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2016.

Fraport insists that decreasing its shareholding in Thalita will not affect its role as "airport operator" in the consortium.

It is planned that QIA will also be able to acquire shares from the other consortium partners to obtain total stake of 24.99% in Thalita.  

Fraport'a executive board chairman Dr Stefan Schulte stated: "Pulkovo Airport has developed well since the operating concession started.

"In selling part of our stake, we are realising value enhancement while maintaining our role in the consortium. Furthermore, this agreement with the renowned global financier Qatar Investment Authority will broaden the shareholder base of our consortium and strengthen Pulkovo Airport to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.

"Despite the current difficulties in Russia, we continue to regard this as an attractive market."  

Since the Northern Capital Gateway consortium started operations, passenger traffic at the gateway has risen from 8.4 million in 2010 to 13.5 million in 2015.

The successful on-time and on-budget implementation of new terminal facilities in 2013 has greatly enhanced Pulkovo's capacity, service quality, as well as the role of St Petersburg as Russia's second largest metropolis and as a leading international business and tourist destination.

According to Fraport, the enlarged consortium will be able to leverage and build upon the milestones already achieved at Pulkovo Airport.  

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