Ferrovial eyes Portuguese airports sell-off

The Spanish developer has teamed with Portuguese firm Teixeira Duarte to bid for the upcoming privatisation of Portugal’s airports.

Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial has declared its interest in bidding for the upcoming privatisation of Portugal’s airports and has partnered with local construction group Teixeira Duarte to do so, the Spanish firm said in a statement.

“Ferrovial Aeropuertos and the Teixeira Duarte group have signed an agreement to cooperate in connection with the privatisation of Portugal’s airport system. The agreement is the first step towards a consortium to bid in the privatisation process, which the Portuguese government is expected to commence in the near future,” Ferrovial said in a statement.

Other bidders in the running for the airports sell-off include a pairing of Portuguese developer Brisa and Brazilian developer CCR, which used to be a subsidiary of Brisa.

The privatisation of Portugal’s airports operator – ANA – has long been planned, but, until recently, was part of a package that would require the winning bidder to build a new airport in Lisbon to the tune of some €3.3 billion.

After the crisis hit Portugal hard and the country was forced to ask for assistance from its EU peers and the International Monetary Fund, plans to build a new airport were scrapped and it was decided to just privatise ANA.

Still, the appeal of ANA – which owns and manages four mainland and four island airports in Portugal – is tied to the future of national airline operator TAP, also on the auction block. 

TAP currently has its main hub in Lisbon Airport, including its lucrative network of Brazilian connections, but a sale to larger airliner could move TAP’s hub out of Lisbon, potentially diminishing the airport’s appeal.

Spain's Ferrovial is one of the world's largest airport operators and is the owner of UK airports group BAA, which owns London's flagship Heathrow Airport and several other airports across the UK.