ICA increases airport stake

25 April 2008

Mexico: ICA, Mexico's largest construction company has acquired a controlling stake in airport operator Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte (GACN), in three deals totalling US$ 260 million. According to ICA the acquisition is part of its strategy to expand into the operation of infrastructure.

ICA directly owns 47.2% of GACN. However, the company controls additional shares through a consortium called SETA. SETA was set up in 2000 as a joint venture between ICA, Vinci and Aeroports de Paris, and it owns 15% of GACN. Vinci has since left the consortium, allowing ICA to take its stake in GACN to a controlling 51%.

GACN operates 13 airports in Northern and central Mexico, most notably in the city of Monterrey. Last year it handled 11.7 million passengers and had sales of MXP 1.01 billion (US$ 94.6 million), and net profits of MXP 189 million (US$ 17.7 million).

In a separate development, January saw ICA win the MXP 1.9 billion (US$ 181 million) contract to complete the construction of the new second terminal at Mexico City Airport. Work began in January and is due for completion in August.

ICA is not the only construction contractor to branch-out into airports in recent years. Hochtief owns stakes in airports in Düsseldorf and Hamburg, in Germany, Athens in Greece and Sydney, Australia. It is also involved in the operation of Tirana International Airport in Albania via a concession agreement.

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