Athens Airport: state fund’s disposal of equity stake is a potential investor opportunity but the economic situation remains fluid

The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) has confirmed the agency is hoping to sell its 30% stake in Athens International Airport (AIA) during 2019. HRADF approved a price revision of EUR1,380 million for a 20-year extension of the AIA concession in mid September 2018.

The current concession arrangement for what is Greece’s largest air gateway is a complicated affair including both local and foreign investors. They include the ‘state’ in the form of the Greek government and HRADF, the Greek Copelouzos family (collectively a 5% holding), and PSP/Avialliance and PSP/Avialliance (Capital), previously Hochtief Airport/ (Capital).

Greece was ordered to “sell off” infrastructure such as airports as part of its bailout terms by the ‘Troika’ of the European Commission, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund (IMF). But there has hitherto been resistance to do that in the case of Athens, even while 14 regional/island airports were taken under concession for 40 years by Fraport Greece, a consortium which includes the Copelouzos Group, and another 23 of them are being lined up for a second concession tranche.

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