Airports Company South Africa (Acsa), together with Brazilian joint venture partner Invepar, won a R70-billion ($9.2-billion) concession to overhaul and operate the busiest and most valuable of three Brazilian airports, Guarulhos, in São Paulo.
“Acsa is pleased with the outcome of the competitive bidding process,” acting MD Bongani Maseko said on Wednesday.
The partnership would own 51% of the Guarulhos International Airport concession, with Brazilian State aerospace operator Infraero owing the remaining 49%. Acsa would provide airport management through a technical service agreement with the concession for twenty years.
“In addition to the investment return on capital contributions, Acsa would be paid airport management fees. The next step is for the consortium partners to finalise the signing of the concession and other related agreements by May,” said Maseko.
The investment will be ring-fenced and will therefore not be funded by the South African aviation industry.
Some of the immediate tasks include preparing detailed operational plans for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, the Pope’s visit for World Youth Day in 2013, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, all to be held in Brazil.
“This is a great opportunity for Acsa, as we realise that in order to grow the business, Acsa has to look beyond South African borders, particularly focusing on emerging markets such as India, Brazil and Africa.
“We managed to secure an opportunity in India a few years ago, we now have Brazil and are pursuing similar ventures in Africa. Winning the bid in Brazil will enhance Acsa’s brand and better position it in the marketplace as a significant participant in global airport investment and management services,” Maseko said.
Newswire Reuters reported that Monday's auction, held at the São Paulo stock exchange, attracted strong interest from 11 consortia whose bids surpassed minimums set by the government for the proposals.
Brazil’s Triunfo Participações and France's Egis Airport Operation won the concession to expand Viracopos Airport, also near São Paulo, with a bid of $2.2-billion, while Brazil's Engevix and Argentina’s Corporación America won the concession for a new airport terminal in Brasília, the country’s capital, with a bid of $2.607-billion.
The South African Ministry of Transport also congratulated Acsa on its achievement.
"The report card on infrastructure released by the South African Institution of Civil Engineering last year stated that South Africa's best performing infrastructure was its aviation infrastructure, which was awarded the report's only 'A'.
"Last year, the OR Tambo International Airport was named the best airport in Africa, and was also in the top three most-improved airports worldwide, at the World Airport Awards for 2010/11, held in Denmark,” Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele said in a statement.