Privatization of ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal

In February this year, an agreement between the Portuguese Government and the French Group Vinci was signed for the acquisition of ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal, the concessionary for the management of 10 Portuguese airports (4 on the mainland: Lisbon, Porto, Faro and Beja; 4 in the Azores islands: Ponta Delgada, Horta, Flores and Santa Maria and 2 in Madeira islands: Funchal and Porto Santo), for a period of 50 years.

The Vinci Group is present in more than 100 countries through highway, railways and car parking management concessions, in addition to being responsible for the management of 9 regional airports in France and 3 inSoutheast Asia. For the Vinci Group, investing in ANA was a strategic move in an area of major interest to the Group, which is the area of airport concessions.

ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal, as a set of major hub airports, caught Vinci’s interest as the group believes that ANA high quality operation, with over 30 million passengers handled / year, mostly international traffic, showing a growth of 4 % per year on average over the past 10 years will contribute to improve the Group´s profitability. The Lisbon “hub” alone accounts for significant added value thanks to its strategic position on destinations with strong growth potential, like Brazil, Lusophone Africa – Angola and Mozambique, which are countries with which Portugal holds a special relationship.

ANA´s concession includes not only the management of Portuguese airport platforms, but also the management of their commercial spaces and ground handling services, which currently represent, as a whole, 37,8 % of the group’s turnover.

With the acquisition of ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal, the Vinci Concessions’s subsidiary intends to strengthen its position internationally in the airport concession industry, with a total turnover for the Group exceeding EUR 600 million and an EBITDA of EUR 270 million, growing to a total of 22 airports managed in Portugal, France and Cambodia, representing a total of over 40 million passengers a year, in which the “hub” Lisbon airport alone will have a major bearing of over 15 million passengers / year.

In Portugal, the Vinci Group already has a presence in the infrastructure concessions, with a share of 37 % in Lusoponte – the consortium that manages through a franchise agreement the bridges over the Tagus river, 25 April and Vasco da Gama – and also in the areas of engineering and electrical works, as shareholder in two Portuguese companies.

Privatization of ANA and its impact on the privatization of the portuguese flag carrier TAP

As Vinci’s directors pointed out, one of the goals of this operation is to improve ANA’s partnership with TAP, confirming that TAP will continue to be the leading airline company operating in Lisbon’s airport and that Lisbon will continue to be the sole “hub” and the main airport for ANA – Vinci Airports operation, despite the fact that their operation in other airports has taken on to promote the implantation of “low cost” companies.

This is one more reason for considering the importance of the airport charges policy to be followed, which will directly impact the TAP privatization process which the Portuguese government wishes to see completed by next year, for the purpose of safeguarding national interest.

The Vinci Group stated goal is to align the growth strategy of the Portuguese airports, Lisbon’s airport primarily, with the growth objectives of the national carrier TAP, in addition to strengthening TAP operation to destinations such as South America, Africa or Europe, which represent expansion goals. Another goal is, using the ANA–Vinci concession to enter international open invitations to tender for airport construction and management, for which the group is already evaluating international tenders in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Rui Carapeto – Risk Manager and Independent Consultant