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Aéroports de Paris acquires Turkish stake 13 mars 2012

Posted by Acturca in Economy / Economie, France, Turkey / Turquie.
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Financial Times (UK) March 13, 2012, p. 19

By Daniel Dombey in Istanbul

A new alliance between Aéroports de Paris and TAV, the Turkish airports operator, will aim to expand in Russia, Central Asia and the Middle East, the Turkish group said yesterday after ADP agreed to buy a 38 per cent stake in TAV for $874m.

As part of a concerted move into the growing Turkish market, ADP – which said it expected a double-digit return from the transaction as a whole – also agreed to buy a 49 per cent stake in TAV’s construction unit for $49m.

The deal, which is scheduled to be finalised by July 1, brings the operator of Paris Charles de Gaulle airport into alliance with the operator of Istanbul Atatürk airport in a transaction that would give the partnership a total of 180m passengers in 37 airports around the world.

Sani Sener, TAV’s president and chief executive, told the Financial Times that his group preferred ADP over other interested parties – which also included Vinci, the concession and construction group, as well as private equity groups – because of the potential for growth that the alliance offers.

« In our minds we were always thinking about a strategic partner, » he said. « This will allow them and us to leverage our collective skills, outside Turkey in particular. »

He added that he expected a « huge privatisation » of Russian airports, and that the companies would also seek acquisitions in Central Asia and Saudi Arabia.

Mr Sener acknowledged that one of the reasons for the transaction was funding for TAV’s shareholders, which include Akfen Holding, a construction company that is looking to finance infrastructure projects in Turkey.

But he argued the deal was also part of a process of consolidation in the airports industry, which has lagged behind restructuring in the aircraft manufacturing and airline sectors.

« Airports have been far behind the two other players in aviation, » he said. « But there is huge room for growth for the airport business in the world because airports are congested and who gets capacity first will gain the passengers. »

He argued that the partnership of TAV and ADP would not only enable them to combine their expertise but also give each group the opportunity to establish service companies in airports in which the other was already present.

While Turkish Airlines, which has expanded rapidly in recent years, accounts for about two-thirds of TAV’s passengers, Mr Sener argued that the carrier was likely to continue to grow in coming years. He added that improved radar and wider-bodied aircraft would help Istanbul airport overcome capacity constraints.

The shareholders in TAV were advised by Credit Suisse, Pekin & Bayar and Ertekin Law Office, while Aéroports de Paris was advised by JPMorgan, Hogan Lovells and Pekin & Pekin.


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