Government plans to part-privatise AENA to raise funds

The government has announced plans to part-privatise the country’s state airport authority, Aena, selling off a 49% stake in the body that runs the country’s airports.

The move will be the most significant privatization in the last 15 years in Spain, after a failed attempt to float the state lottery in 2011.

The state will retain control of the group once it is listed on the stock market, which is expected to take place in November. The part-privatisation is likely to generate around €2.45 billion for the state coffers.

The entry of investors into Aena would take place in two stages. The first phase will involve the sale of 21 percent of the airport operator to what the government classes as a ‘stable nucleus’. These investors would be chosen via a tender process, which the Ministry of Public Works hopes will be completed in September.

The second phase will involve a public offering of 28% of Aena’s share capital that will be open to minority investors and the prospectus will be published in October. It is expected that, if all goes according to plan, the new part-public, part-private Aena will be listed on the stock market in November 2014.

The plan to part-privatise Aena has around since 2010. The previous Socialist administration of Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero approved the flotation of the state lottery company and gave the go-ahead for SEPI, the public company that oversees the state’s industrial shareholdings, to sell a number of its stakes in private firms with the aim of reducing the public deficit.

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