Hochtief has announced plans to sell its airport operating business to the Public Sector Pension Investment Board of Canada (PSP Investments). The business includes stakes in Athens airport in Greece, Budapest airport in Hungary, Düsseldorf and Hamburg airports in Germany, Sydney airport in Australia and Tirana airport in Albania, which handle a total of 95 million passengers per year.

Hochtief said the assets being sold were worth 1.5 billion (US$ 1.95 billion), including minority interests worth € 400 million (US$ 520 million). The deal is expected to close in the second half of this year but be back-dated to January 1, 2013. Hochtief’s proceeds are expected to be € 1.1 billion (US$ 1.43 billion).

Hochtief CEO Marcelino Fernández Verdes said, “The transaction is the result of a very competitive tendering process. We will use the released funds as planned to reduce debt and invest in the operating infrastructure business. The transaction will further strengthen Hochtief’s financial and competitive position.”

Hochtief has long held the strategic goal of divesting its airports business. Reports suggest it initiated the sale process last year, but then suspended it when it failed to achieve a high enough price.

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