Ljubljana Airport to join Fraport

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Fraport will pay 177.1 million euros ($229.3 million) to acquire a 75.5 per cent stake in Ljubljana Joze Pucnik Airport, with the intention of a full takeover bid at a later date.

It reached the agreement with the airport’s operator, Aerodrom Ljubljana, after the bidding process ended on 4 July. It says the purchase will be financed by liquid funds and it will submit a takeover bid to the remaining shareholders. Fraport’s executive board member for controlling and finance, Dr Matthias Zieschang, says: “Our extensive know-how gained over many decades will enable us to further expand and strengthen Ljubljana’s competitive position.”

Ljubljana Airport has 4,100 square metres of capacity and can handle live animals, temperature sensitive, dangerous and valuable cargo. A hub for the Balkan region, it handled 17,777 tonnes of cargo in 2013, up from 17,031 tonnes in 2012, but down from 19,659 tonnes in 2011. In the first half of 2014 it saw tonnage increase by 7.6 per cent. It made a first half profit of 516,000 euros, down from two million euros for the same period of 2013.

Ljubljana is working on its development strategy which is designed to cope with increasing cargo volumes to 18,800 tonnes of cargo a year. This will involve spending 114 million euros upgrading buildings and equipment by 2017. It will also involve rerouting 2,400 metres of the Kranj-Menges main road further north to provide space for airport expansion. As part of its master plan, it will open the first phase of its new cargo centre in early 2015, and is expecting tenants like DHL or UPS to move in. 

Meanwhile, Frankfurt Airport has seen its cargo volumes drop slightly in August to 177,251 tonnes, continuing the mid-year slump it has seen since April. Cargo volumes have been volatile with each rise being followed by a fall. It handled 160,970 tonnes of cargo and mail in January before dipping to 159,249 tonnes in February and rising to 201,806 tonnes in March. It has been down since then, dropping to 171,909 tonnes in April, increasing to 185,629 tonnes in May, falling to 178,384 tonnes in June, up slightly in July to 178,727 tonnes before declining in August to 177,251 tonnes. August 2014 is up 3.5 per cent on 2013.

Year-to-date (YTD) Frankfurt has handled 1.4 million tonnes, up 2.4 per cent on the same period in 2013. Fraport’s Hanover-Langenhagen Airport has seen cargo volumes decline by 2.4 per cent to 9,391 tonnes. 

Other airports in the group have seen rises; Burgas Airport and Varna Airport have seen increases of 100 per cent, to 3,302 tonnes and 45 tonnes, respectively. Fraport declined to explain why they had 100 per cent increases. Xi’an Xianyang International Airportsaw a YTD rise of 5.6 per cent to 115,765 tonnes. This airport also had the best monthly rise with 12.3 per cent. 

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