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Indian GMR Group bids to operate Spanish airports

Thu 4th Aug 2011

Bangalore-based GMR group is considering placing bids for operating the two leading airports in Spain: Madrid Barajas and Barcelona's El Prat. Both airports handle around 70 million passengers a year and have a capacity to handle 125 million passengers.

A Spokesman confirmed the move this morning, but also suggested that the group is looking for a Spanish partner : "It is always better to tie up with a local partner for international airports. We might also look at roping in a local partner for the airports in Spain we are considering."

In July central government authorised the sale of their 90.05% stake in these two airports, to be operated through a specific measure which will be created especially for the purpose. The management contracts for Madrid and Barcelona will run for 20 years with the possibility to be extended by a further 5.

Bidding is to commence from $5.2 billion for the Madrid airport and about $2.2 billion for Barcelona. The successful bidders also have to pay an annual fee, which will amount to 20% of the airports' revenue.

Madrid's Barajas airport is the fourth busiest airport in Europe and the 11th busiest in the world while Barcelona's El Prat airport is the 10th busiest airport in Europe. Madrid carried over 49 million passengers and Barcelona handled over 29 million passengers over the course of 2010.

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