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Slovak authority extends deadline for ruling on airport privatisation.

AIRLINE INDUSTRY INFORMATION-(C)1997-2006 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD

A ruling on a deal that would see an international consortium acquire a majority stake in two Slovakian state-owned airports has been postponed.

The country's anti-monopoly office has postponed the ruling on the completion of the privatisation of the international airports in Bratislava and Kosice until 14 August, saying that it is a complicated case and that the deadline was extended through a legal option.

Under the terms of the deal the TwoOne consortium headed by the owners of Austria's Vienna airport acquired a majority stake in the two airports, according to the TASR news service. The consortium consists of Flughafen Wien AG, Slovakia's private equity firm Penta and Austria's Raiffeisen Zentralbank AG. It said it would spend about EUR121m on a 66% stake for the two airports.

The acquisition has however been criticised by the opposition in Slovakia. The opposition claimed that the deal is an attempt by the owners of Vienna's Schwechat International Airport to remove competition from Bratislava. According to the plans presented by TwoOne it would develop Schwechat as the main international hub of the region, keeping Bratislava airport for low-budget airlines and charter flights. Bratislava is located about 70 kilometres from Vienna.

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Comment:Slovak authority extends deadline for ruling on airport privatisation.
Publication:Airline Industry Information
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EXSV
Date:Jun 8, 2006
Words:217
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