By Dylan Bowman
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise says if bid is successful shareholders can retain a stake in the company.
State-owned Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) plans to retain Auckland airport’s listings in both Auckland and Australia if its bid is successful, it said late last night.
The company said it has sought to develop a structure that enables Auckland International Airport Limited (AIAL) to remain listed on the NZX and ASX so that shareholders can retain a stake in the company.
“Our proposal does not require shareholders to sell all their shares,” DAE said in a statement.
The company said the airport’s continued listing was in the best interests of New Zealand and its citizens.
“Our strategic partnership will deliver significant value-added benefits to the airport – ensuring it can maintain its growth on a global scale – and therefore delivers tremendous value to New Zealand as a whole,” the company added.
DAE’s comments come in the face mounting hostility in New Zealand over the proposed $2 billion purchase of a majority stake in the country’s busiest airport.
Under the offer launched last month, which values the whole of airport at $4.5 billion, a new company will be created, in which DAE will have a stake of 51 to 60%.
However, residents and Manaukau and Auckland city councils, which own around 22.8% of the airport, have raised concerns over it falling into foreign hands, and on Monday Trade Minister Phil Goff said the government gave its backing to those opposed to the deal.
“Our policy is the shares in the airport and the ports of Auckland ought to remain within the public sector,” he told Radio New Zealand, quoted AFP.
The sale has to be approved by 75% of the airport’s shareholders when they meet to vote on the offer in November, and opposition from the two local councils could scupper the deal.
In its statement, DAE stressed that it wanted to enter into a partnership with the airport.
The company said for the airport to maximise its potential it required recapitalisation, which could not be achieved under its existing shareholder and management structure.
“Our view from the outset has been that with the right partner, AIAL has a great future,” DAE said.
“Our proposed partnership will enable AIAL to leverage our global expertise and development initiatives, which include global airline networks, technology providers and other aviation services.
“These benefits can only be achieved through majority ownership of AIAL.”