Macquarie withdraws bid for Budapest Airport
Thursday, November 3, 2005, 11:18
Global airports investment fund Macquarie Airports, managed by Australian investment bank Macquarie Bank Ltd. had withdrawn from the bidding for Hungary's Budapest Airport, Macquarie said on Thursday. Macquarie Airports, which has interests in Sydney, Rome, Birmingham, Bristol, Brussels and Copenhagen airports, did not give a reason for its decision to withdraw from the single-round closed tender for Hungary's biggest international airport.
Hungary's State Privatization and Holding (ÁPV) Rt. announced on last Friday that bidders in the new tender for Ferihegy Airport operator Budapest Airport have to submit their offers until November 14. The single-round tender for the sale of a 75%-plus-1-vote in Budapest Airport was called after an earlier tender was invalidated by court decision because ÁPV failed to consult with the airport's workers before the sale.
The ÁPV has invited the same five bidders as participated in the previous tender to bid in the new one. They include German construction giant Hochtief, Frankfurt Airport operator Fraport, Britain's BA, Australia's Macquarie Airports and Copenhagen Airports. Copenhagen Airports, however, announced that it could withdraw its bid, if its owners accept a buyout offer by Macquarie. Bids in the first offer were between Ft 202 bln and Ft 390 bln, but a report in The Sunday Times a week earlier said BAA and Macquarie could bid as high as 2 bln, or about Ft 500 bln, citing banking industry insiders. In addition to professional criteria and bidders' long-term strategies for Budapest Airport, ÁPV said it would consider the purchase price, the amount to be paid to the Treasury Assets Directorate (KVI) for the right to manage the airport for 75 years, and the amount to be paid to KVI for tangible assets at the airport when evaluating the airport. The physical airport will remain in state ownership, ÁPV stressed.