Turkey's TAV Said to Mull Philippines, Belgrade Investments

  • Turkish operator looks at committing to two bids in February
  • Deal could be operating contract, stake purchase, person says

TAV Havalimanlari Holding AS, the operator of Turkey’s busiest airport, is in talks over plans to invest in projects in the Philippines and Belgrade, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

TAV, whose biggest owner is Aeroports de Paris with a 38 percent stake, is looking at committing to two airport deals coming up for bid next month, said the people, who asked not to be named because the plans are confidential. While TAV may seek operational rights, it may also opt for an asset acquisition, said one of the people. The airport in the Philippines would be one of five for which TAV and partners won pre-qualification status last year, the person said, declining to specify a location.

TAV runs Istanbul’s Ataturk airport and 13 other sites in countries including Georgia, Macedonia and Tunisia. It’s been seeking to expand with work abroad after a competing local group won a Turkish government contract in 2013 to develop a new, 150 million-passenger airport in Istanbul and run it for 25 years. TAV also offers duty-free retail, information technology and ground handling at about 70 airports in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the U.S.

While Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla airport hasn’t released any bid documents, Serbia’s government said in an International Monetary Organization filing in December that it has hired advisers to develop long-term management contracts. The Serbian Economy Ministry’s press office declined immediately to comment on Tuesday.

A TAV official, who asked not to be named because of company policy, declined to comment on the airport operator’s plans. The company is chasing two airports for investment, Haberturk reported on Tuesday, citing TAV Chief Executive Officer Sani Sener.

TAV’s shares rose 0.2 percent to 18.03 liras per share at 10:32 a.m. in Istanbul, advancing for a fourth day to the highest in two weeks on a closing basis.

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