Spain airport company valued at $9.8B ahead of partial sale

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MADRID (AP) — Spain's national aviation authority, AENA, has set a top-of-the-range price of 58 euros ($65) euros per share for the company's partial privatization this week, valuing the company at some 8.7 billion euros ($9.8 billion).

The initial public offering of 49 percent of AENA's stock begins Wednesday and will bring in about 4.3 billion euros for the government. The sale is one of the biggest in Spain in recent years.

The government will retain a 51 percent stake in AENA, keeping it state-controlled.

The vast majority of shares have been offered to institutional investors and a small percentage to retail investors.

Public Works Minister Ana Pastor on Tuesday described the partial privatization and the high share demand as an "important success."

AENA operates 46 airports and two heliports in Spain, and has stakes in 15 other airports abroad, mostly in Mexico. It owns also 51 percent of Luton airport outside London.

The company describes itself as the world's number one airport operator in terms of passenger traffic. It said 187 million passengers passed through Spanish airports in 2013.

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