Limak and Mapa to sell their stakes in Istanbul Airport

Limak Yatirim Holding AS and Mapa Insaat AS are each selling their 20% stakes in the operating company IGA Havalimani Isletmeleri AS, according to Bloomberg.

The two remaining partners Kalyon Insaat AS and Cengiz Insaat AS will raise their holdings to 55% and 45%, respectively, after the transaction, the people with direct knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be identified because the talks are confidential. 

Limak, Kalyon and Cengiz declined to comment. Mapa Insaat, owned by Istanbul-based MNG Group, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

When signed, the deal will mark the second exit by the original builders that won the rights to build and operate the airport in a joint venture with equal stakes in 2013. Kolin was the first to sell its stake in 2019. Since then, the coronavirus pandemic pushed back the expected surge in traffic at the airport, whose capacity is set to increase to 200 million passengers per year later this decade from around 90 million now.

The airport operators will pay EUR 22.2bn to the government in annual rental fees for the 25-year operational lifetime of the project. The government postponed the payments for the past two years because of the pandemic, and the operator refinanced EUR 5.8bn (USD 6.9bn) of loans, cutting the interest rate and extending the maturity two years until 2033.

After the exit, Limak will use the proceeds to boost investments in energy and infrastructure, its core areas of activity, one of the people said.

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