The sale of national airport operator ANA–Aeroportos de Portugal to the French Vinci Group was concluded on Tuesday after the Portuguese government received the final payment of €1.4 billion of the total sum of €3.080 billion.
The transaction was applauded by Economy Minister António Pires de Lima, who stressed the importance of Vinci’s decision to invest in Portugal.
He described the French group’s confidence as “an extraordinary sign of a foreign investor that believes in Portugal and its people”.
“It is not very common to see a company invest €3.080 billion in a country that has not yet concluded its financial and economic adjustment programme,” he said.
Pires de Lima highlighted the substantial economic benefit that the government has received and also the fact that Vinci’s project makes Lisbon one of the main hubs in its airport network.
Secretary of State for Public Works, Transport and Communications, Sérgio Monteiro, confirmed that the privatisation programme for ANA is now complete and that the funds from the deal will be used to balance budgets and reduce public debt.
He revealed that ANA and Vinci, as the shareholder, will be presenting, every five years strategic plans to promote the cohesion and development of Portuguese airports. The first will be presented on December 14 2013.
Monteiro added that the concession contract does not mean that the revenue ends with the privatisation process. The Portuguese government will be receiving, “from year 11, from 1% to 10% of revenue until the end of the 50-year contract, in a total sum of around €2.2 billion for the State”.
In conclusion, he stated that although the government has given up its role as shareholder, it will continue to supervise all decisions made by Vinci. During the ceremony to mark the completion of the deal, Nicholas Notebaert, president of Vinci Airports, said that the success and growth of Portuguese flagship carrier TAP was particularly important for ANA, in view of the “shared routes” and that the group would be looking to bolster its relationship with the airline.