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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 November 2018

Dubai’s ICD says to buy stake in Corporación América Airports subsidiary

Sovereign wealth fund agrees deal to buy 25 per cent of airport operator

Investment Corporation of Dubai, the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund, has agreed to buy 25 per cent of Corporación America Italia, a unit of New York-listed Corporación América Airports, the world’s largest private airport operator, for an undisclosed sum.

“The purchase of shares in CAI gives ICD access to Toscana Aeroporti, an established, well-performing airport group in a mature economy with development potential,” said ICD chief executive Mohammed Al Shaibani in a statement.

CAI is the controlling entity of Toscana Aeroporti, a publicly-traded Italian company that holds and manages the concessions for Florence and Pisa airports in Italy.

ICD also signed an agreement with Corporación América Airports to explore new airport opportunities in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Italy, it said.

ICD's portfolio includes stakes in companies such as Emirates Airline, the world's biggest wide-aircraft carrier, and Emirates NBD bank, Dubai's biggest bank. The fund's assets at the end of last year reached a record Dh844.3 billion, a 9.7 per cent increase from 2016.

Since its initial public offering in February, Buenos Aires-based Caap acquired an additional 11 per cent ownership stake in Toscana Aeroporti, increasing its stake to approximately 62 per cent from 51 per cent, the parties said.

ICD’s acquisition of a stake in the Caap subsidiary is expected to conclude by August 31, subject to terms and conditions.

Following the closing of the deal, Caap will have a 75 per cent share ownership of CAI. Caap operates 52 airports in seven countries across Latin America and Europe, and served 76.6 million passengers in 2017, it said.

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“The establishment of a partnership with Caap offers exciting opportunities to collaborate with a proven, world-class infrastructure investor and operator in new markets, in line with our strategy to diversify our portfolio,” said Mr Al Shaibani.

This partnership provides “a foundation to identify and develop new opportunities in the airport sector, while maintaining our focus on delivering on our growth strategy in other key markets, primarily Argentina and Brazil,” added Martin Eurnekian, chief executive of Corporación América Airports.

The memorandum of understanding aims to help the parties capitalise in future on Caap’s management capabilities and knowledge of the airport industry, and ICD’s access to financing and the capital markets.

ICD reported a 12.4 per cent rise in 2017 net income to Dh20.2bn due to record revenues from a turnaround in the transportation business and higher bank income.