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Athens Airport Shareholders Moving Ahead With Privatization Sale

ATHENS – With tourism booming again and airports around Greece filling to capacity with added flights and millions of passengers annually, shareholders at Athens International Airport have approved the sale of a 30 percent stake.

That will be done through the state’s privatization agency TAIPED, a senior official from the agency told Reuters, and the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund has hired Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank to act as advisers.

The other shareholders are Germany-based manager AviAlliance, which currently holds 40 percent, Greece’s sovereign wealth fund HCAP with a 25 percent share, and Copelouzos group, which owns 5 percent.

They signed a memorandum for AviAlliance to acquire a further 10 percent stake, with TAIPED’s remaining 20 percent to be sold through an initial public offering (IPO) for listing on the Athens Stock Exchange, the unnamed official said.

The full 30 percent stake could be valued at between 800 million and 1 billion euros ($880.6 million-$1.1 billion) it was estimated, the sale having been planned for earlier in the year before being pushed back.

With COVID-19 health restrictions lifted in 2022, Greece is on a path to set a record for visits that could bring in more than 30 million people, traffic at the airport rising 47.5 percent in the first four months to six million arrivals.

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