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Argentine Airport Operator Seeks Emerging-Market Deals, CEO Says

  • Corporacion America Airports in on Jamaica bid, eyeing Brazil
  • U.S. stock listing gives expansion platform with right project

Corporacion America Airports SA, the largest private airport operator in the world, is looking at growth opportunities in emerging markets such as Brazil and India, Chief Executive Officer Martin Eurnekian said.

The company, which earlier this year raised $486 million when it listed its shares in New York, is already in a bidding process in Jamaica and is actively seeking to get more concessions in Brazil, Eurnekian said. Corporacion America operates more than 50 airports and cargo terminals worldwide and it’s the core of the Eurnekian family’s business.

The IPO “will give us the opportunity if we needed to, if a good project arises and we need capital, to go into new opportunities,” Eurnekian, 39, said in an interview on Bloomberg TV Wednesday. “But at the current stock price we would not raise more capital," he said in a subsequent interview in New York. The shares of Corporacion America Airports have tumbled 23 percent since the public offering on Jan. 31.

Corporacion America Airports has the capacity to invest in two “important capex programs,” Eurnekian said without specifying which projects.

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The Buenos Aires-based company is also focused on expansion projects in airports in Argentina, where it’s looking to develop commercial spaces, new passenger buildings, ground access and parking in its landmark Ezeiza airport in the Argentine capital. That project would require as much as $740 million in investments, Argentine Transport Minister Guillermo Dietrich told the Telam news agency earlier this month.

The airport unit is part of the Corporacion America holding company, which is controlled by billionaire Eduardo Eurnekian, Martin Eurnekian’s uncle. It’s a conglomerate of units operating in the energy, agriculture and technology industries.

The holding company is evaluating listing other units such as Compania General de Combustibles SA, Eurnekian said in the interview.

“We are weighing the opportunity to do it,” he said. CGC, as the company that explores, refines, and markets oil and natural gas is known, is run by Martin’s younger brother Hugo Eurnekian.

— With assistance by Carolina Millan, David Westin, and Alix Steel

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