Return to search

InfraVia, Deutsche AM land in Venice with airports buy

The pair’s acquisition of a controlling stake in Save Group provides them full or part ownership of five European airports.

French fund manager InfraVia has made its first foray into the airport sector after agreeing a 50 percent acquisition of Italy-based Save Group as part of a consortium with Deutsche Asset Management.

The deal, once completed, will see the pair jointly control the company, which is the sole owner of the Venice Marco Polo airport concession. The third, equal partner in the consortium formed for the deal is Save Group’s chief executive Enrico Marchi.

Save Group also holds an 80 percent stake in Venice’s second airport Treviso, a 40.3 percent of Verona and Brescia airports in north-east Italy and a 27.7 percent ownership of Charleroi airport in Belgium.

The Marco Polo and Treviso sites increased passenger numbers last year by 10 and 10.5 percent respectively, with the former ranking as Italy’s fourth busiest airport with 9.6 million passengers.

The consortium will buy out the shares of Andrea De Vido, Marchi’s partner at Save, and Star Holdings, a company controlled by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure, at a price of €21 per share. Local banks Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit provided financing for the deal. Remaining shareholders include highways operator Atlantia, which bought a 21.3 percent share in Save for €174 million in September last year.

“[Marco Polo’s] location in one of the largest Italian and European economic and touristic destinations make it a high-quality core infrastructure investment which matches the long-term obligations of the fund’s investors,” said Hamish Mackenzie, global head of infrastructure at Deutsche Asset Management. “A significant portion of the investors in our fund are Italian pension funds and insurance companies which support investment in European strategic infrastructure projects that are drivers of economic and social development.”

While the deal marks InfraVia’s debut in airport investment and its second in Italy overall, Deutsche Asset Management has been invested in Melbourne Airport since 1997, in which it holds a 20 percent share. Deutsche's investment was made through its Pan-European Infrastructure Fund II, which is targeting €2 billion.

The transaction is expected to close this summer.