27 April 2005

The Web

Govt to sell 20 per cent of MIA shares

Matthew Vella

Malta International Airport plc has been informed that the government of Malta has decided to offer for sale on the Malta Stock Exchange 13,530,000 Ordinary ‘A’ Shares in the company, estimated to be a further 20 per cent of the state’s slice of the airport. The transaction is envisaged to be completed before the end of 2005.
There is speculation that the sale, the third in a series of gradual divestitures, will be snatched up by current shareholders of the Malta International Airport, not least the partners within the Malta Mediterranean Link Consortium (MML).
According to MIA chief executive officer Peter Bolech, who spoke in an interview in last week’s The Malta Financial and Business Times, the Austrian said he “would be surprised if any of (MIA’s) current shareholders would be reluctant to buy more shares”.

In July 2002, the government of Malta signed an agreement with the Malta Mediterranean Link Consortium Ltd for the sale of 40 per cent of Malta International Airport plc. The deal was worth Lm40 million (EUR100 million).
MML is owned by Flughafen Wien AG (57 per cent), SNC-Lavalin Inc. (39 per cent) and Airport Investments Ltd, which is an associate company of the Maltese Bianchi Group of Companies.
The government of Malta sold a further 20 per cent of its shares in MIA by means of an Initial Public Offering in November 2002. This brought more than 4,500 new shareholders to the company which is listed on the Malta Stock Exchange.
In 2003, Malta International Airport handled 2.67 million passengers and 32,179 aircraft movements. In March 2004, MIA announced pre-tax profits of Lm2.65 million (EUR6.25 million). 55 per cent of the company’s total revenue derived from the Passenger Service Charge and 15 per cent from the concessionaires’ turnover charge. The average spend per departing passengers at airport shops and concessions was of Lm12.38 (EUR29).


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