Ar­gen­tinian firm eyes re­gional air­ports

Cor­po­ra­tion Amer­ica in­tends to un­der­take the op­er­a­tion of all 21 ter­mi­nals that are up for pri­va­ti­za­tion

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY VAN­GE­LIS MANDRAVELIS

Ar­gen­tinian-Ar­me­nian busi­ness­man Ed­uardo Eurnekian is eye­ing all of Greece’s re­gional air­ports, up for sale, as the sec­on­drich­est man in Ar­gentina plans to ex­pand his ac­tiv­i­ties in South­ern Europe through his com­pany, Cor­po­ra­tion Amer­ica, which is tak­ing part in the ten­der for the sell-off of 21 re­gional air­ports around Greece in co­op­er­a­tion with the lo­cal Myti­li­neos group.

The 21 air­ports are to be pri­va­tized in two clus­ters, with each of the seven bid­ders who have ex­pressed an in­ter­est be­ing al­lowed to en­ter a bid for ei­ther or both of the air­port groups. Corp Amer­ica ap­pears to be in­ter­ested in both clus­ters, nei­ther of which in­cludes Athens In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

“Our aim is to grow in Amer­ica and in Europe, with a fo­cus on the Mediter­ranean re­gion,” the en­tre­pre­neur’s nephew, Martin Eu- rnekian told Bloomberg yes­ter­day in Switzer­land. Also head of the com­pany’s for­eign mar­ket de­vel­op­ment depart­ment, he said “we’re go­ing to be very ag­gres­sive on all fronts. A lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties have opened up af­ter the cri­sis.”

Corp Amer­ica has al­ready grabbed a 23 per­cent stake of the air­port in Pisa, Italy, and is now aim­ing at a hold­ing in the neigh­bor­ing Florence air­port. Martin Eurnekian said the com­pany in­tends to in­vest in en­ter­prises that op­er­ate air­ports as well as ac­quir­ing their man­age­ment. It cur­rently op­er­ates 51 air­ports around the world, most of which are in South Amer­ica.

Based in Buenos Aires, it has an­nual rev­enues of $1.2 bil­lion.

In Septem­ber, Greek state sell­off fund TAIPED short­listed seven bid­ding con­sor­tiums for the sec­ond stage of the ten­der for the con­ces­sion of the coun­try’s 21 re­gional air­ports. The process has not yet en­tered the stage of bind- ing bids but this is ex­pected very soon (af­ter sev­eral de­lays), as the gov­ern­ment and the fund are un­der pres­sure from the coun­try’s cred­i­tors to pro­ceed with the pri­va­ti­za­tions pro­gram.

Ac­cord­ing to the orig­i­nal plan, the con­sor­tiums to un­der­take the two groups of re­gional air­ports will op­er­ate them for a pe­riod of be­tween 30 and 35 years, and will have to im­ple­ment in­vest­ments amount­ing to about 220 mil­lion eu­ros.

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