Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide and its Greek partner Copelouzos Group signed contracts with the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) for the 40-year concessions to operate, manage, develop and maintain 14 regional airports in Greece.
The transaction closing is expected during the autumn of 2016, at which time full payment of the €1.234 billion upfront concession fee will be made by the Fraport consortium in tandem with the takeover of operations at the 14 airports. As part of the international tender process for the regional airport concessions launched in 2013, HRADF selected the Fraport consortium as preferred bidder in November 2014.
Combined, the 14 Greek regional airports served about 22 million passengers in 2014 and are expected to exceed the 23 million passenger mark in 2015. In particular, international passengers account for about 77 percent of the total traffic at these gateways. The mainland airports include Aktio (PVK), Kavala (KVA) and Thessaloniki (SKG), Greece’s second largest city. The other eleven airports are located on the Greek islands of Corfu/Kerkyra (CFU), Crete/Chania (CHQ), Kefalonia (EFL), Kos (KGS), Mitilini (MJT), Mykonos (JMK), Rhodes (RHO), Samos (KGS), Santorini (JTR), Skiathos (JSI) and Zakynthos (ZTH).
Fraport will have a clear majority share in the concession companies, while Copelouzos will hold the remaining stake. Actual ownership of the airports will still be retained by the Greek government throughout the concession term. Along with the upfront concession payment, an annual fixed concession fee of initially €22.9 million will be paid. In addition, the Fraport-Copelouzos consortium is required to invest a total of €330 million in airport infrastructure until 2020, followed by maintenance and traffic-driven capacity investments during subsequent years of the project.
Fraport AG’s executive board chairman Dr. Stefan Schulte stated: “Since being selected as preferred bidder more than a year ago, Fraport and Copelouzos have remained steadfastly committed to the Greek regional airports – a win-win project for Greece and its people. The project underscores the extensive know-how that Fraport will be able to provide at these 14 aviation gateways, which are vital for Greece’s economy and, in particular, its huge international tourism sector. We are proud that the Greek government and the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) have entrusted Fraport-Copelouzos with the task of strengthening the competitive position of these airports in the decades to come. We would like to thank both the HRADF and Greek government for their professional cooperation in reaching this milestone agreement.”
The founder and chairman of Copelouzos Group, Dimitris Copelouzos, said: “The project for the 14 Greek regional airports is one of the largest and most beneficial investments based on national and social criteria. Undoubtedly, this investment is a basis for boosting the Greek economy, especially during this critical period for the country. The benefits at the national and regional level are multiple and the cooperation of the two companies is a guarantee for successfully supporting tourism as the heavy industry of Greece, reinforcing competitiveness of the economy and creating new jobs.”