Fraport sells a share in Pulkovo Airport to Qatar investor
Fraport, a German airport operating holding, is selling a part of its share in Pulkovo airport to the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). The Qatar fund is purchasing 10.5% of Thalita Trading, the parent of Northern Capital Gateway, which manages St. Petersburg’s airport for 30 to 40 million euro. Fraport’s share in Pulkovo will remain at 25%, whereas the Qatar partner plans to grow its share eventually to 24.99% by buying out share of other stakeholders. Russia’s VTB Capital, which currently holds 57.5% of the Northern Capital Gateway, is looking to shake off some of its shares, which are its non-core assets. The third participant of the consortium, Copelouzos Group intends to sell its entire share of 7% and leave the project.
The changes in the structure of stake-holders will benefit the stake-holders, but are not expected to effect the airport itself, Vedomosti writes.
Since 2010, when Northern Capital Gateway started managing Pulkovo, it invested 1.2 billion euro into thorough reconstruction of the airport. The airport’s traffic grew steadily until 2015, when the ongoing economic downturn took its toll on the outgoing passenger traffic, whereas the sanctions thinned the incoming flow. At the end of 2015 Northern Capital Gateway’s income stood at 14 billion roubles, net profit amounted to 353 million rubles. The airport served 13.5 million passengers, down 5.4% year-on-year.
In the meantime, the administration of St. Petersburg is developing a program to motivate airlines to fly to Pulkovo. According to Kommersant, which quotes press-service of the office of vice-governor Igor Albin, the program will be launched on October 30, 2016, and will last three years. Those carriers that open new routes from St. Petersburg during that period will be able to benefit from the program, which complements Pulkovo’s own program of 5-60% reduction off airport fares for new routes.
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