Vinci’s transformational deal

French infrastructure developer Vinci recently closed the acquisition of ANA – Portugal’s airports operator – announcing it had exclusive rights “to negotiate the construction and operation of a new airport in Lisbon when capacity of the current airport reaches saturation”.

Vinci announced last December that it had won a 50-year concession to operate Portugal’s 10 airports after it offered 16 times ANA’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), outbidding a consortium of Fraport and Industry Funds Management by €638 million.

Last December, Portuguese Treasury Secretary Maria Luis Albuquerque called Vinci’s offer “a world record for such transactions involving airports”. At a signing ceremony, in Lisbon, Louis-Roch Burgard, chief executive of Vinci Concessions, told reporters, according to Bloomberg:

“I think we paid the fair value. We valued the present value and future value of ANA, which we see as a strategic tool for our development,” Burgard said, hinting at the construction of a future airport in the Portuguese capital. Originally, construction of a new airport in Lisbon, said to be worth up to €3.3 billion, was set to be part of ANA’s privatisation.

ANA’s acquisition is a transformational deal for Vinci Airports, the developer’s airports business, which up until now  managed 10 regional French airports and Cambodia’s three hubs, handling a combined 10 million passengers a year. Post-ANA, Vinci Airports will be managing 23 airports handling more than 40 million passengers a year, including a European hub with over 15 million travellers.

Revenues at the airports unit will increase to more than €600 million post-acquisition with EBITDA increasing to €270 million. Pre-ANA, revenues were around €150 million.

ANA handled more than 30 million passengers last year, 80 percent of which were international travellers. It has also been posting a healthy 4 percent-a-year annual passenger growth for the last decade.

“Lisbon offers an important advantage, because it is a hub for destinations that are seeing strong growth (Brazil, and Portuguese-speaking Angola and Mozambique in Africa),” Vinci said.