Vinci Interested In Airport Operator TAV

February 8, 2012

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Vinci, France's largest listed construction and concessions company, is interested in buying a near 40 percent stake in Turkish airport operator TAV, Vinci's chief executive said on Wednesday.

Sources close to the deal told reporters last week that Vinci and a partnership between US private equity firm Carlyle Group and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) were the leading bidders for the stake.

"We are at the beginning of the process concerning the airport assets of a Turkish company called TAV," Xavier Huillard said in a meeting with analysts on Vinci's 2011 results. "So we are also in this competition."

Huillard said Vinci was particularly interested in TAV's Istanbul airport assets, but declined to elaborate, citing confidentiality agreements.

Asked about German construction firm Hochtief's airport business, for which Vinci has expressed interest in bidding, Xavier said the process was closed.

Hochtief put the auction on ice last month after failing to sell the unit in 2011.

(Reuters)