July 19 Puerto Rico's government selected
Aerostar Airport Holdings LLC in a deal worth $2.57 billion to
run its Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, the largest in
the Caribbean, Gov. Luis Fortuno said on Thursday.
The deal calls for Aerostar, which is made up of
Aeroportuario del Sureste, an operator of nine airports in
Mexico, and Highstar Capital, which has made investments in
Baltimore and London, to run the airport for 40 years.
"This offer beat everyone's expectations," Fortuno said.
The figure includes a $615 million up front payment to the
U.S. commonwealth's Ports Authority, as well as annual payments
to the public corporation over the life of the contract that add
up to $550 million, said David Alvarez, executive director of
the Public Private Partnership Authority.
The balance of the deal, which government officials say will
help boost tourism, involves investments in modernizing and
improving the airport and an incentives fund to attract new
routes and new passengers.
"AAH is now a partner of the Ports Authority that will help
us bring the growth we deserve," Fortuno said, adding that he
expects the new operators to increase passenger traffic by
200,000 annually from the current level of around 9 million.
The deal is subject to U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
approval, which officials said should be granted in the fourth
quarter of this year, with the new operators taking over before
AAH rose from an original field of 12 bidders, and its final
offer edged out the bid from co-finalist Grupo Aerpuertos
Avance, comprised of Ferrovial Aeropuertos and
Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets, the world's
biggest infrastructure investment fund.
Last year, Puerto Rico undertook a 40-year concession of the
PR22 and PR5 roadways to Metropistas, a consortium comprised of
Spain's Abertis Infraestructuras and the Goldman Sachs
That gave the government a $1.136 billion upfront fee and a
commitment to invest $56.1 million in immediate improvements,
plus an additional $600 million over the contract's life.