Turkey's TAV keen to bid for Malaysia Airports stake in Sabiha Gokcen

KUALA LUMPUR: TAV Airports, which operates Turkey’s biggest airport Istanbul Ataturk Airport, is eyeing the stake planned for sale by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) in Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG).

Wire reports on Tuesday quoted TAV chief executive officer Mustafa Sani Seners as saying TAV would be interested if a stake in Turkey’s second biggest airport was put up for sale.

Reuters said TAV was waiting for MAHB, which wholly owns ISG, to choose a bank to advise it on an auction process.

“Since Istanbul is our own base we are interested,” Sani was quoted by Reuters as saying.

“Valuation is very important. If their expectation is too high, we won’t be there. If their expectation is fitting to market conditions, we will be one of the candidates.”

Bloomberg last week reported, quoting unnamed sources, that MAHB planned to sell a minority stake in ISG. There has been no confirmation from the airport operator so far.

TAV had eyed Limak Group’s 40% stake in ISG in 2014 but walked away empty-handed after MAHB, which already held a 60% stake in ISG, exercised its right of first refusal to buy the remaining shares.

According to Reuters, TAV is also bidding in the privatisation of four Nigerian airports including Abuja and Lagos.

ISG recorded a 4.8% growth in passenger traffic movements to 29.7 million last year, according to MAHB’s 2016 annual report. An 8.3% jump in domestic passenger traffic movements helped offset the 1.8% fall in international passenger traffic movements.

“Events in Turkey proved far more challenging than we had imagined as the country grappled with a failed coup in July, and a series of terror attacks in Istanbul and further afield... We believe ISG’s performance was commendable given the circumstances as it was the only major airport in Turkey which had experienced growth,” MAHB chairman Tan Sri Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah said in the annual report.
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