German airport operator Fraport has reached an agreement to sell a minority stake in Northern Capital Gateway, the consortium responsible for operating Pulkovo Airport in St Petersburg, Russia, to Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund. The deal will reduce Fraport’s stake in the 30-year concession contract from 35.5% to 25%.
Based on the current book value, Fraport expects profit from the transaction to range between €30m (US$34m) and €40m (US$45m), with completion scheduled for late 2016. Decreasing its shareholding will not affect Fraport’s role as an airport operator.
It is expected that QIA will also be able to acquire shares from the other consortia partners for a total stake of 24.99% in Northern Capital Gateway’s parent company, Thalita Trading.
Dr Stefan Schulte, executive board chairman, Fraport, said, “Pulkovo Airport has developed well since the operating concession started. In selling part of our stake, we are realizing value enhancement while maintaining our role in the consortium.
“Furthermore, this agreement with the renowned global financier QIA will broaden the shareholder base of our consortium and strengthen Pulkovo Airport to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future. Despite the current difficulties in Russia, we continue to regard this as an attractive market.”