Berlin Seeks Private Investors For New Airport - Report

July 5, 2015

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Berlin is wooing private investors including Macquarie and JP Morgan to take a stake in its much-delayed new airport, a German newspaper reported.

The investors are to be given confidential details of the airport's business plans so that they can make concrete offers, Bild am Sonntag said, without citing sources.

A spokesman for the airport said there were no new developments regarding a possible part privatisation.

He said the company was in a "pre-notification phase" with the European Commission, in which it has to demonstrate the potential return on investment for any private investor.

The spokesman referred to a June 18 statement in which the airport said: "This does not, however, prejudge whether FBB (Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg) should be privatised, either in whole or in part."

He declined to comment specifically on "speculation" as to whether particular potential investors had been contacted.

The EUR€5.1 billion (USD$5.7 billion) airport has been delayed repeatedly by red tape and technical problems, forcing its scheduled opening date to be pushed back from 2012 to 2017.

It is jointly owned by the city of Berlin, the state of Brandenburg and Germany's federal government.

Bild said the owners expected a detailed report by the end of the year on whether a part-privatisation would be worthwhile, adding the federal government wanted to sell its 26 percent stake once the airport was operational.

(Reuters)