Airport operator to be named in August

A private operator of Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in Puerto Rico is expected to be named in August. Consortia led by Highstar and Macquarie are vying for the contract.

A winner of the widely sought Luis Munoz Marin International Airport contract should be selected by August.

Aerostar Airport Holdings and Grupo Aerpeurtos Avance, both shortlisted as a finalist by the Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority (PPPA), each submitted a final offer on Tuesday, July 10.

The PPPA had set Wednesday, July 11, as a deadline to hand in a proposal.

Consortium Aerostar Airport is made up of Highstar Capital and Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste, or ASUR.

Highstar, a $5.5 billion infrastructure fund operator located in Houston and New York, in 2008 invested in London City Airport, a business traveler airline, while ASUR is a major airport operator in Mexico.

Rival Grupo Aerpeurtos Avance is led by Macquarie Group and Ferrovial Aeropuertos.

Macquarie is pursuing the mandate via its Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA). The financial services provider helped Puerto Rico shape its public-private partnership (PPP) legislation.

Sydney, Australia-headquartered Macquarie advised the authority, led by executive director David Alvarez, on its vaunted Puerto Rico Highway 22 project, a billion-dollar toll road concession.

Macquarie is a widely recognised airport owner in its homeland, as well as in Europe and India, while Madrid, Spain-based Ferrovial, notably via its BAA business, is a leading private airport operator.

The chosen consortium would enter a 40-year agreement to operate and remodel Luis Munoz Marin International Airport for a reported $500 million to $1 billion upfront fee.

Located in Carolina, Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, the largest airport in Puerto Rico, has been publicly criticized for failing to operate effectively.