By Dominic Welling
Bidding for the majority stake in Madrid Barajas and Barcelona El Prat airports will begin next month, with the contract being awarded by the end of the year, airport operator Aena said today.
Aena Aeropuertos – the holding company set up as part of plans to privatise 49% of Aena – started operations today (June 9) after the Spanish government authorised the transfer of all assets related to airport management from Aena to the new company last Friday.
Aena Aeropuertos has a network of 47 airports and two heliports in Spain and direct or indirect involvement in the management of 127 airports worldwide.
The president of Aena Aeropuertos, Juan Lema, said: "The actual start of activity of Aena Aeropuertos marks a historic milestone in airport management in Spain.
“The new model will allow us become more competitive in an increasingly demanding environment with a more autonomous and more flexible management. "
From today Aena Aeropuertos will focus on selling its majority stakes in Madrid Barajas and Barcelona–El Prat. At the same time it will work on the privatisation of up to 49% of its assets.
Aena said the investment bank tasked with assisting the government on the sale will be appointed next week.
Nine of the world’s largest banks are competing for the €2 million contract including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Crédit Agricole, HSBC Holdings, Credit Suisse Securities, Société Générale and BNP Paribas.
The Spanish bank BBVA is the only domestic bank hoping to manage the sale of Aena, whose value is estimated at €30 billion.
Aena Aeropuertos has started operations with a capital of €1,500 million. The total value of the assets contributed by Aena to the new company is more than €16,400 million and liabilities transferred amount to €13,400 million.
Contributed equity to the new company is €2,600 million – 60% as capital and the remaining 40% through voluntary reserves to strengthen the balance sheet of Aena Aeropuertos.