TAIPED-owned 30% Stake in Athens Airport Up for Sale
Greece’s Economic Policy Council (KYSOIP) has decided to accelerate the sale of a 30 percent stake in Athens International Airport (AIA), Finance Christos Minister Staikouras announced this week.
Greece’s public assets development fund TAIPED, which holds the 30 percent stake in the airport, invited expressions of interest for the acquisition earlier this year. Originally set for September 30, the deadline has been extended to October 29. According to reports, the two companies that already have shares in AIA – Canada’s PSP Investments/AviAlliance GmbH (40 percent) and Greek group Copelouzos (5 percent) – appear to be interested. AIA’s group of shareholders also includes the Greek state with a 25 percent stake.
“Today we are implementing one more commitment we have made,” said Staikouras, adding that “we view privatizations as a development tool of the economy, provided these are carried out in conditions of total transparency and in the public interest. And not just as a means of raising public revenue”.
Once the sale is complete, the Greek state, which as previously mentioned owns a 25 percent share, will hold two seats on the board, one of which will be the chairman’s.
Ministers from the economy, tourism, development & investments, environment & energy, infrastructure, shipping, interior, rural development & food ministries participated in the Economic Policy Council meeting chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Earlier this year, the council approved the 20-year extension of AIA’s concession agreement. AIA SA rendered a total of 1.1 billion euros to TAIPED for the 20-year extension to 2046.
What I don’t understand is precisely what is being sold – the stake in the airport itself or the stake in the concessionaire of the airport (AIA SA)? If it’s the concessionaire that means the investment is time-limited as the concession will expire in a number of years and nothing is forcing the Greek government to grant the concession to that specific company again (or to anyone).