Billionaire Told He Can Hold on to Argentine Airport Concessions

Updated on
  • Option to end concession in 2018 won’t be exercised: Dietrich
  • Eurnekian’s Corporacion America is planning a $500 million IPO

Eduardo Eurnekian in 2014.

Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Billionaire Eduardo Eurnekian can relax after the Argentine government allowed him to keep his concession to operate 33 airports until 2028.

The decision comes after Eurnekian ditched Rafael Bielsa, minister of foreign affairs under former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, as chairman of Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 in April. He named his nephew Martin Eurnekian as Bielsa’s replacement.

“The differences we had were remedied after Eduardo Eurnekian agreed to structural changes that coincide with our vision,” Transport Minister Guillermo Dietrich said in an interview in his office in Buenos Aires.

The government’s option to use a clause that allows for an early termination of the concession in 2018 is no longer on the table, Dietrich said. Tensions over the airports had led Eurnekian’s Corporacion America, the parent company to Aeropuertos Argentina, to plan an initial public offering in New York to bring foreign investors on board and make it harder for the government to remove the concessions, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

Bank of America Corp., Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. have been hired to help the company raise $500 million in the IPO.

The IPO, initially planned to happen before year end, has been postponed until next year after another Argentine company’s failed attempt to sell shares in New York, a third person with knowledge of the situation said. Molino Canuelas S.A.C.F.I.A. was forced to postpone its IPO because of market volatility on Dec. 16.

Carolina Barros, Corporacion America’s spokeswoman, declined to provide a comment in a phone interview from Miami.

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