BUSINESS

Argentinian firm eyes Greek regional airports

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

Argentinian-Armenian businessman Eduardo Eurnekian is eyeing all of Greece’s regional airports, up for sale, as the second-richest 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 Eurnekian told Bloomberg on Friday in Davos, 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 sell-off 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 binding 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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