AENA shares sell like hotcakes

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TRADING in AENA shares begins on February 11, but demand already outstripped supply at prior meetings for investors.

The price will be fixed on February 9, but shares in Spain’s airports operator are expected to fetch between €43 and €55 each. This puts a €2.31 billion price tag on the share offer and AENA’s total value at between €6.45 billion and €8.25 billion.

Privatisation is partial, as the state retains control with a 49 per cent stake. Twenty-one per cent of AENA shares were allocated last November to three key investors with the remaining 28 per cent going to new shareholders, including retail buyers.

Spain’s airports handle 195.9 million passengers a year but are capable of handling an annual 335 million, said AENA’s president Jose Manuel Vargas. This, coupled with scant need for further investment make the company an attractive prospect, Vargas added. 

The excess capacity corresponds to the country’s biggest airports, he said. Passenger traffic could grow 67 per cent at Barajas airport in Madrid, by 46 per cent at El Prat (Barcelona) while Malaga, Alicante and Gran Canaria could all double their current rates.

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