French civil engineering Vinci Group won the bid to buy the Portuguese airport major operator ANA, announced Thursday Portuguese government spokesman Luis Marques Guedes.
The government’s decision was unveiled following a cabinet meeting, just a week after Portugal turned down the only bidder for state-owned airline TAP-Air Portugal.
Vinci, the largest construction company in Europe by revenue, submitted the highest offer worth 3.8 billion euros ($5.0 billionUSD). Vinci will have to pay €100m to sign the concession contract which will last for a period of 50 years.
Currently, Vinci operates 9 regional airports in France plus three international airports in Camboja, South Asia. ANA manages 10 Portuguese airports that handled 286,000 flights and served 29.57 million passengers in 2011.
The deal will help Portugal meet the terms of a 2011 multi-million Euro (€78 billion/$102 billion) bailout package from the IMF and EU. The sale of the airport concession is expected to bring Portugal’s deficit down to 5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The winning bid includes airport concessions currently managed by ANA on mailand Portugal, namely Lisbon Portela Airport, alongside Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport (Porto), Beja Airport, Faro Airport, plus concessions at airport facilities in the Azores such as Flores Airport, Horta Airport, João Paulo II Airport, and Santa Maria Airport.
Vinci is already one of two main shareholders in Lusoponte that operates Lisbon’s two bridges over the Tagus, including the Vasco da Gama newest and longest bridge in Europe.
Other offers to buy ANA included Zurich airport operator Flughafen Zürich, German airport operator Fraport and Argentinian airport operator Corporación América.