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Budapest Airport stake sold to Canadian pension fund manager

Germany's Hochtief on Tuesday said it agreed to sell its airport unit, which holds a stake in Liszt Ferenc International Airport operator Budapest Airport, to the Public Sector Pension Investment Board of Canada. The transaction, affecting assets worth about €1.5 billion, including minority stakes, is expected to be closed in the first half of 2013 but have retroactive effect from January 1, 2013. The transaction is subject to "certain conditions", including approval by the competent authorities. In addition to Liszt Ferenc, Hochtief AirPort GmbH owns stakes in airports in Athens, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Sydney and Tirana. The airports in the portfolio handle about 95 million passengers a year. Passenger numbers at Liszt Ferenc International Budapest fell almost 5% to 8.5 million in 2012, a year that started with the grounding of troubled national carrier Malév.