Australia-based IFM Investors is to buy a stake of up to 29.9% in Austria’s Vienna Airport for €502m ($637m), which will help in expanding its portfolio of European infrastructure assets.
A statement released by the airport said that IFM will pay €80 a share, which is a 29.7% premium over Friday’s closing price. The offer for the stake led to a boost of more than 18% in the airport operator’s shares.
The statement also added: "The vast majority of investors in IFM GIF are institutional pension funds investing on behalf of millions of individual workers, spread over multiple jurisdictions, including Australia, the UK, continental Europe, the US and Canada.
Bloomberg quoted IFM director Werner Kerschl as saying: "We regard Vienna Airport as a very well-managed, attractive company with a very strong base in a region that offers the growth and the strength we are seeking.
"Our interest in Vienna Airport is based on the fact that we see a very well-led and attractive company in a strong location."
He also added that there are no plans to buy out the operator’s state shareholders.
Owned by 30 Australian pension funds, IFM is the country’s largest infrastructure investor. Apart from Vienna, IFM has also invested in UK, German and Polish infrastructure.
Reuters stated that the Vienna Airport, the home of the Lufthansa subsidiary Austrian Airlines, had been contemplating a proposal to build a third runway to expand capacity.
The airport is operated by Flughafen Wien AG (FLU).
Image: The Vienna iternational airport will sell minority stakes to IFM. Photo: courtesy of Vienna Airport.