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An Argentinian businessman will buy 21 Greek airports

25 January 2014 / 15:01:42  GRReporter
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Argentinian billionaire Eduardo Eurnekian, owner of the airport management company "Corporacion America" seems to be thinking of expanding his investments in southern Europe, via taking advantage of the lower prices resulting from the crisis.

"Our holding will enter the sector very actively, since the crisis has opened a lot of opportunities for us," said Martin Eurnekian, head of "Corporacion America" and Eduardo’s nephew, in an interview on 22 January in Davos, Switzerland. "Our mission is to expand in America and Europe, focusing on the Mediterranean. We have always invested in projects which allow us to retain the control of the management," he added.

In parallel, in his statement the businessman noted that "Corporacion America", which has annual revenues to the amount of 1.2 billion dollars, currently had no financial needs which should be covered by the bond market. "In 2010, the company used its revenues from issuing bonds worth 300 million dollars in order to renew Ezeiza Airport in Buenos Aires. Furthermore, the Brazilian Development Bank BNDES funds it at a low price," he added.

According to Bloomberg, the company is expected to submit offers for 21 Greek airports to the Agency for Public Private Property. The Greek government is proceeding to progressive functional independence of provincial airports via their categorization into groups which would later be privatized on the basis of progress or will be liquidated as a result of a transaction or series of transactions. After such privatization, the Civil Aviation Authority will maintain its role as a regulator of aviation services and provider of air traffic control.

The Agency for Public Private Property is carrying out an open international competition for two groups consisting of 14-20 provincial airports via providing their operation to private investors. The rest of the provincial airports will be transferred under the provisions of the law of the Company for management of regional airports, which is 100% state owned. The sector of regional airports in Greece consists of 39 airports, including those in Thessaloniki, Rhodes, Kos, Corfu, Zakynthos, Santorini, Lesvos, Samos and Mykonos, as well as in Chania on Crete.

In the coming days, "Corporacion America" will acquire 23% of the airport in Pisa, Italy, and is planning to integrate the airports in Tuscany by adding the airport of Florence. The holding manages 51 airports worldwide. Besides Greece, it will also submit offers for airports in Peru, Colombia and Chile.

Who is Eduardo Eurnekian?

According to Forbes magazine, 81-year-old Eduardo Eurnekian is considered to be the second richest Argentinian with personal wealth amounting to 1.8 billion euro.

He was born on 4 December, 1932 and is of Armenian origin. He immigrated to Argentina together with his parents, where he started expanding his business. In 1988, he had a small cable television company which he sold for the price of 350 euro.

Part of his business also includes four radio stations and a newspaper-"El Cronista" in Buenos Aires, as well as 33 airports in Argentina and the Brazilian airline LAP.

He manages 51 airports in Latin America and Europe, is a major shareholder in Argentina Postal Services and operates 250,000 hectares for the production of wine, cereals, etc.

Tags: Greek airports privatization Eduardo Eurnekian
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