Portugal’s main motorway operator Brisa and Brazilian counterpart CCR have agreed in principle to jointly study the possibility of buying airport management firm ANA, which is being sold off by the Portuguese state, Brisa said.
The privatisation is scheduled to take place this year under the terms of an EU/IMF bailout for Portugal. The country has already successfully sold major stakes in two power sector companies, EDP and REN to foreign investors.
“ANA is a strategic element for Brisa’s business diversification,” Guilherme Magalhaes, Brisa business development director, told reporters on Monday. “Brisa and CCR will lead a consortium for ANA privatisation,” he said.
In a statement, Brisa said a memorandum of understanding signed with CCR calls for the two companies to “evaluate and possibly carry out the acquisition opportunity under the privatisation process announced by the Portuguese government”.
Brisa had already been part of a consortium seeking to take part in the ANA sell-off. But that group, which also involved builder Mota Engil and several banks, was disbanded after the government suspended plans to build a new airport near Lisbon.
Brisa had a major stake in CCR until 2010, when it pulled out of Latin America’s largest motorway concessionary to focus on the Portuguese market. Portugal’s economic recession has since undermined traffic volume, affecting Brisa’s revenues and share price.