Turkey's TAV Mulls Bid for Stake in Malaysia Airports Unit

Turkey’s TAV Havalimanlari Holding AS will bid for the Istanbul unit of Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd if a stake in the operator of Turkey’s second-biggest airport is put up for sale.

TAV is “definitely interested” in looking at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport should requests for proposals be made, Chief Executive Officer Sani Sener told reporters in Dubai on Tuesday. Malaysia Airports plans to retain control of the company, people familiar with the plan said earlier this month.

Shares of TAV, which is 38 percent owned by Paris airports operator Groupe ADP, rose as much as 2.4 percent to 16.55 liras in Istanbul, the highest in a year.

TAV has a contract to operate Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport, the country’s biggest, until the end of 2020, but is preparing for it to be closed by a larger hub. In 2014, TAV failed to get a stake in Sabiha Gokcen when Malaysia Airports exercised its right of first refusal on the shares.

TAV has also finalized a deal to buy Saudi Oger Ltd.’s stake in the company that operates Saudi Arabia’s Medina airport, Sener said.

The disposal of the 16.7 percent stake owned by Saudi Oger, the construction company that belongs to Lebanon’s Hariri family, leaves the ownership of Tibah Airports Development, as the airport operator is known, equally split between TAV and Rajhi Holding Co.

TAV is also in talks with banks to raise a $250 million loan for developing airports in the Saudi Arabian cities of Yanbu, Qassim, and Hail, Sener said.

— With assistance by Ercan Ersoy, and Isobel Finkel

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