Aeroports de Paris stake sales yield €738m

Vinci and Credit Agricole Assurances have bought a combined 9.5% in the airports operator from the French government.

The French government has made good on its end of May promise to cut down its holding in Aeroports de Paris (AdP), having announced yesterday the sale of a combined 9.5 percent in the airports operator for €738 million. 

The buyers were French: insurer Credit Agricole Assurances, which bought 4.81 percent of AdP, entering the firm’s capital structure, and developer Vinci, which picked up the remaining 4.69 percent, elevating its stake in the airports operator to 8 percent. 

Both buyers will be eligible to nominate a representative to the board of AdP, to sit alongside the French government’s six representatives and N.V. Luchthaven Schipol’s two board members. The latter is the operator of Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport. 

The French government will still retain a 50.63 percent stake in AdP and is required by law to keep a majority stake in the airports operator. The Ministry of Finance said in a statement that the state would keep €303 million of the sales proceeds and allocate the remaining €435 million to the Fonds Strategique d’Investissement, France’s sovereign wealth fund. 

France’s disposal of a chunk of AdP is part of a bigger divestment programme announced by the government that could see it sell off stakes in utility GDF Suez, France Telecom, nuclear power company Areva and several others. The government’s portfolio of company stakes was valued at just over €59 billion as at June 24, the Financial Times reported. 

AdP runs Paris’ three major airports, 10 general aviation airfields and the Issy-les-Moulineaux heliport. In 2012, the group handled just shy of 89 million passengers via Paris Charles de Gaule and Paris Orly airports.