Re: "Antitrust body to nix sale of airports?", TSS Online, August 14
I think that using the word 'corporate raider' to describe Penta Investments is rather inappropriate here, for it was the owner of the airport(s) that requested offers. i.e. there was the full intention to sell. On the other hand, the Austrians are not necessarily wanting to buy the airport(s) with a view to make it/them flourish, but more likely to gain a firm grip on most of the landing slots in this part of the world. Maybe this government is not selling now in order to later sell to a 'preferred' party without going the auction route. It could be though, that the government chooses to hold on to the airport(s) as it/they form part of a larger infrastructure which is not yet completed.
In the meantime, the price of airports has fallen somewhat since last Thursday [August 10, when Heathrow was shut down by terrorist threats]. Shops at airports pay good rent, and through that they partially determine the value of the property. If shops at airports that sell alcohol and perfume lose their edge when travelers can no longer take these products with them in their hand-luggage, a considerable segment of income falls away for airports. So if the deal falls through today, it is unlikely that any interested party will offer as much again as was offered before.
21. Aug 2006 at 0:00