Ferrovial keen on Rio de Janeiro’s airport

The Spanish conglomerate has said it will bid for the privatisation of Brazilian airports Galeao, in Rio de Janeiro, and Confins, in Belo Horizonte. The airports are expected to be worth a combined $5.7bn. 

Ferrovial, the Spanish infrastructure group that operates London’s Heathrow Airport, announced yesterday that it will bid for two Brazilian airports in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte later this year. 

“In managing airports around the world, we have demonstrated our commitment to modernising terminals with the goal of improving services for airlines and enhancing the passenger experience. We consider we have a lot to offer Brazil, a country in which we are very invested,” commented Jorge Gil, chief executive of Ferrovial Airports. 

Earlier this month, the Brazilian government ordered Rio de Janeiro’s international airport, known as Galeao, and Belo Horizonte’s international airport, Confins, to be included in the National Privatisation Programme. 

According to Brazilian law firm Mattos Filho, Veiga Fillho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados (Mattos Filho), an invitation to bid for the two airports is expected to be published in August. The law firm said the tender framework will be similar to the one used for the concessions of the international airports in Sao Paulo, Campinas and Brasilia, which netted the government $14 billion. 

There is, however, an important difference, the law firm pointed out: “Unlike the previous tender, only operators of airports that handle at least 35 million passengers a year will be allowed to bid.”  Mattos Filho added the tender is expected to be worth a combined R$11.4 billion (€4.4 billion; $5.7 billion), with R$6.6 billion allotted to Galeao and R$4.8 billion for Confins. 

In addition to Heathrow Airport, Ferrovial also manages Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports, all in the UK. It has recently sold London’s Stansted Airport to a consortium of Manchester Airports Group and Industry Funds Management for £1.5 billion (€1.8 billion; $2.4 billion). The sale is expected to complete in the coming weeks, Ferrovial said. 

Ferrovial’s airports, including Stansted, generated £2.65 billion in revenues and £1.35 billion in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation last year. The airports handled a combined 100 million passengers through 204 airlines en route to more than 600 destinations, Ferrovial said. The Spanish company has been managing airports since 1998.