Flughafen Wien Hopes Slovak Antimonopoly Office Hail Its Airports Purchase

11. Juli 2006, 00:00

Airport operator Flughafen Wien sounded auspicious about the decision the Slovak antimonopoly office (PMU) will...

Airport operator Flughafen Wien sounded auspicious about the decision the Slovak antimonopoly office (PMU) will take on buy into Bratislava and Kosices airports.

"We have a valid contract signed by both parties," a Flughafen spokesman said. "We are now waiting for the decision by the (Slovak) competition authority."

The statement came in response to signals from Slovak PM Robert Fico that the new government might intervene in the airports privatisation process and even terminate it if possible.

"Of course, the possibility exists that there is political pressure on the authority," he added. "But we continue to expect the deal will be approved."

Fico also said the government would find it hard to see local strategic property go to foreign hands.

The Slovak acquisition is a cornerstone of Flughafens growth strategy. Its winning bid for the airports consisted of SKK 11.4 billion (USD 377.7 million) in cash and a pledge to invest a further SKK 8.3 billion (USD 275 million) in the two airports.

Privatisation contracts to sell the majority stakes in the Bratislava and Kosice airports were signed on February 10, 2006, after the government approved the TwoOne consortium, of which Vienna airport is a member, as the preferred strategic investor for the airports.

The PMÚ is due to deliver its decision by August 14, 2006.

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