Hochtief Denies HNA Lost Interest In Airport Assets

December 22, 2011

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German builder Hochtief denied a report that China's HNA Group is no longer interested in its airport assets.

"We are in intensive talks with HNA," a spokesman for Hochtief said.

German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung earlier cited financial sources as saying HNA, the parent of China's Hainan Airlines, had lost interest in buying the assets because financial markets have deteriorated.

The other bidder, France's Vinci, is still interested but is in disagreement with Hochtief about how much it should pay for the assets, it said.

Vinci declined to comment on the report. Its chief executive Xavier Huillard said in August he expected Hochtief to choose a buyer in the course of September, but the process has been delayed since.

Last month, Hochtief said the timetable for a sale, previously expected by the end of this year, might slip. Also, the management board member in charge of the airports business at Hochtief, Martin Rohr, announced his resignation on Tuesday.

The assets up for sale include Hochtief's stakes in airports in Athens, Budapest, the German cities of Düsseldorf and Hamburg, as well as Sydney and Tirana.

(Reuters)