PARIS (Reuters) - A new operator for the Lille airport in northern France will probably be chosen this summer, according to the CEO of French construction group Eiffage, who is bidding for the concession.
Eiffage, France’s third-largest builder behind Vinci and Bouygues, is bidding for the airport operation concession to diversify its income from its APRR and AREA tollroad networks, whose concessions expire by 2036.
“The new operator should be chosen this summer, the latest date possible in order to get the necessary authorisations to be operational by January 2020,” Eiffage CEO Benoît de Ruffray told reporters on the sidelines of a corporate event in Paris.
Eiffage last month entered into talks to buy a 49.99% stake in Toulouse airport and at the end of last year it bought a 5% stake in channel tunnel operator Getlink.
Lille airport is currently run by a privately owned group including Chambre de commerce et d’industrie (CCI) des Hauts-de-France (61%), French transport group Transdev (34%) and Sanef, a French tollroad subsidiary of Spain’s Abertis (5%) under a 10-year deal that started Jan. 2009.
Reporting by Gilles Guillaume; Writing by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Richard Lough