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European firms eyeing Brazil's airport concessions

Bnamericas Published: Friday, March 18, 2016
European firms eyeing Brazil's airport concessions

At least three airport operating companies in Europe have been reported to be eyeing Brazil's upcoming international airport concessions.

Summing up to approximately 8.4bn reais (US$2.24bn), the public-private partnership tenders are planned for airports in four state capitals by June. They are Bahia state capital Salvador (pictured left), Ceará's Fortaleza, Rio Grande do Sul's Porto Alegre, and Santa Catarina's Florianópolis.

According to German airport operator Fraport CEO Stefan Schulte, Fraport is seeking to bid on two of the airports, Reuters reported without saying which ones.

Meanwhile, Italian infrastructure conglomerate ASTM/SIAS (GruppoGavio), which agreed to pay 2.22bn reais for 50% of Brazilian highway operator EcoRodovias, is working toward projects in the airport sector.

Through infrastructure company Newco, which is a JV with engineering conglomerate CR Almeida, the Italian firm will be looking into the aforementioned airport concessions.

Spain's Aena - the world's largest airport operator - has also been eyeing the upcoming auctions. According to a comment by CEO José Manuel Vargas Gómez, Brazil and Mexico are key countries for any infrastructure group that wants to operate in Latin America.

One looming question, however, is whether or not the worst of Brazil's economic crisis has already passed. The current political instability is making this question increasingly difficult for foreign investors to answer.

Porto Alegre airport (CREDIT: Infraero).

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