The owners of the new airport in Istanbul, Turkey, have appointed US investment bank Lazard to divest their stake in the $11bn facility.
Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that Lazard is working with some members of the IGA consortium to offer a valuation of the airport and to hold talks with potential buyers.
According to sources, Vinci, Ferrovial SA, as well as Aeroports de Paris and its Turkish unit TAV Havaliamanlari Holding, are among the interested parties.
IGA has a debt load in Turkey of around $6.4bn.
Payments over the 25-year lease period to operate the world’s biggest airport total €22.1bn.
Buyers are likely to be deterred by the cost of leasing the airport, Bloomberg reported.
Istanbul-based brokerage Deniz Invest stated: “The market is not likely to welcome the news given the scale of the concession payments of the airport and heavy leverage.”
This airport is located 20 miles outside of Istanbul on the Black Sea coast. It has two operational runways.
In April, it opened to overseas commercial flights and replaced Ataturk Airport, which was closed down in the same month.
Ataturk Airport was operated by TAV Havalimanlari.
The Istanbul Airport can serve 200 million passengers once all six runways are operational.
Turkish construction companies of Cengiz Insaat, Limak Holding, Mapa Insaat, Kalyon Insaat, and Kolin Insaat, have secured the right to build and operate the airport. At the time, each of them had equal stakes in the airport.
Currently, Kalyon Insaat owns a 35% stake, while Cengiz Insaat has a 25% holding after Kolin Insaat divested its 20% stake this year. Limak and Mapa both have a 20% stake in the airport.