BUSINESS

PSP presses for Athens Airport deal extension

VANGELIS MANDRAVELIS

TAGS: Privatizations

Canada-based PSP International is asking, in a quite discreet fashion, for the process to extend the agreement for the operation of the Athens International Airport to continue, after having stalled for a lengthy period.

The Canadian investors have seen weeks and months go by without a deal for the 20-year extension of the concession contract being sealed, and the person behind this is Infrastructure Minister Christos Spirtzis, who is refusing to approve the change to the veto rights provided by the original 1995 shareholders agreement.

PSP decided to intervene through its Avi Alliance subsidiary, which controls 40 percent of AIA. It sent a letter to the broker of the deal, state privatization fund TAIPED, highlighting the Canadians’ eagerness to invest in Greece’s main airport despite the obstacles raised. It is noted that the change to veto rights is in favor of the majority stakeholders – the Greek state and TAIPED – and not the minority owners, Avi Alliance.

Crucially, a change in the clause on the veto rights would add value to the next step TAIPED intends to take, which is the sale of the 30 percent stake in AIA it controls.
 

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