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Brazil Wants 20 Largest Airport Operators to Bid on Galeao

Brazil wants the world’s 20 biggest airport operators to bid for the operating license for the country’s second-biggest airport as part of efforts to modernize infrastructure ahead of the 2014 World Cup, said a government official familiar with the plan.

To prevent smaller companies from taking over the operations of the Rio de Janeiro-based Galeao International Airport, the government will require that bidders have experience managing at least 35 million passengers a year, said the official, who asked not to be named because the announcement will be made by President Dilma Rousseff tomorrow. The government in February sold licenses for the Guarulhos, Brasilia and Viracopos airports to consortiums with experience managing airports with 5 million passengers a year.

Inadequate roadways, rail transport and airport infrastructure has limited Brazil’s growth potential as the country prepares to host the World Cup soccer tournament and the 2016 Olympic Games. Brazil will seek 54.2 billion reais ($26 billion) of investment in ports through 2017 and 133 billion reais in roads and railroads over the next 30 years.

Fraport AG, Flughafen Munchen GmbH, Changi Airport Group and Aeroports de Paris are some of the operators that Rousseff’s administration has met in the past months, the official said.

Rousseff will also announce plans to sell rights to operate the Confins airport, in Minas Gerais, this week, the official said. Galeao and Confins would be auctioned in the first half of next year, he said.

Argentine airport operator Corporacion America, Paris-based airport operator Egis Avia and Johannesburg-based Airports Co. South Africa, the winners of the previous auction, wouldn’t meet the minimum requirements that will be set by the government for the new licenses, the official said.

The government also plans to invest more than 4 billion reais for the expansion of 800 regional and private airports with money raised from the auctions, the official said.

In February, Brazil’s government sold operating licenses to Brasilia, Viracopos and Guarulhos for 24 billion reais. In August 2011, Consorcio Inframerica paid 170 million reais for Sao Goncalo do Amarante airport, in Rio Grande do Norte.

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