- Brazil is auctioning airports as the air travel industry undergoes one of its worst crisis in history;
- Minister Tarcisio de Freitas said the government was focusing more on how much winners would invest than on the value paid to the government;
- The auction is part of a wave of privatizations that Jair Bolsonaro’s administration is pushing.
Brazil on Wednesday auctioned 22 airports, raising BRL 3.3 billion ( over $593 million), with the largest group of airports won by one of the biggest infrastructure companies in Latin America CCR, already responsible for several highway concessions in the country. The auction is part of a wave of privatizations that Jair Bolsonaro‘s administration is pushing.
“We had an extraordinary result in this auction, despite the fact that the COVID pandemic strongly affected all airports”, said Brazil‘s Infrastructure Minister Tarcisio de Freitas after the auction ended.
Brazil is auctioning airports as the air travel industry undergoes one of its worst crisis in history. The pandemic brought air travel to a standstill last year and while it has been recovering in developed countries like the United States, flight demand in Brazil has been weakened recently by a brutal second wave.
Brazilian infrastructure company CCR won licenses to operate the two largest blocks of airports, including the airport of the southern city of Curitiba.
The auction raised a similar amount of money as a previous airport auction in 2019, when the auction of a single group of airports in Brazil‘s northeast raised $500 million.
Freitas said the government was focusing more on how much winners would invest than on value paid to the government.
CCR will operate 15 airports, nine in south Brazil, for which it bid BRL 2.1 billion ($382 million), and six in the central region, with a BRL 754 million ($135 million) bid.
CCR Chief Executive Marcos Cauduro said the company will bid on the next privatization auctions and that has a BRL 5 billion cash position, enough to pay for the licenses acquired on Wednesday.
France’s Vinci Airports agreed to pay BRL 420 million ($75.3 million) to operate seven airports in the northern region.
Among the companies that placed losing bids were Spain’s Aena, Argentina‘s Corporacion America Airports, and funds managed by asset managers Patria Investments and XP Inc.