Australia’s IFM Global Infrastructure Fund (IFM GIF) has secured an additional stake in Vienna Airport, thereby reaching the mark that triggers a mandatory takeover offer for the latter. 

The pension fund bought the additional interest through its indirect unit Airports Group Europe with on-market share purchases.

With this acquisition, Airports Group Europe now has more than 40% of the entire share capital in the airport operator.

This obliges the Australian fund to launch a mandatory takeover bid for the remaining holding, at €33 ($34.5) a share. This represents a 25.5% premium over the closing price on 10 June.

IFM Investors Infrastructure executive director Werner Kerschl said: “Despite the difficult economic situation for the aviation industry, we believe in the strong fundamentals of Flughafen Wien and in Austria as a place to invest.

“During our more than seven years as an existing shareholder, we have recognised Flughafen Wien as a well-managed and well-run company. We have therefore decided to acquire additional shares and can offer an attractive price to all selling shareholders.”

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The offer awaits regulatory clearance.

However, IFM GIF said that it is not looking for majority control of the business. It also does not expect City of Vienna, the province of Lower Austria or the Employee Trust to offload their stake.

Kerschl added: “We remain committed to working with all stakeholders and to support Management in continuing its strategy for Flughafen Wien in the interests of local communities, passengers, airline customers, employees and the broader economy.”

Nomura is offering financial advice and E+H Rechtsanwälte is serving as the Austrian legal adviser to Airports Group Europe for the deal.