Change afoot at Macquarie Airports(3)

The Australian airport investor has had the trading of its shares suspended, fuelling speculation that it could be preparing an asset sale or refinancing.

Airport infrastructure investor Macquarie Airports (MAp) has requested the halt of trading of its shares, fuelling speculation that it could be gearing up for an asset sale or refinancing.
 
In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange today, MAp said it is requesting the suspension for two business days as it expects to make a significant announcement regarding “strategic options to enhance security holder value within that timeframe”.
 
Macquarie Group, MAp’s parent company, has also request the halt of trading of its shares with immediate effect. It said MAp’s forthcoming announcement may have an impact on the group and its share price.
 
Last month MAp completed a refinancing of Sydney Airport, contributing A$711 million (€409 million; $582 million) of cash to reduce the asset’s debt level, and increasing MAp’s holding in the airport to 74 percent in the process. In May it agreed to sell its 20 percent stake in Japan Airport Terminal to JAT.
 
MAp’s traffic performance for the month of June, published earlier this week, showed that traffic had declined at all of its airport holdings from the prior corresponding period. However, MAp’s CEO Kerrie Mather said that the results showed that rates of decline are continuing to decrease.
 
Upon the trading halt, MAp’s shares were selling for A$2.64, up over ten percent for the day, while Macquarie Group’s shares were up almost five percent, closing at A$41.80.
 
MAp’s shares are expected to resume trading on Monday morning, or when a further company announcement is made, depending on which occurs first.