Fraport-Slente wins €1.2bn concession for 14 Greek airports

A joint venture of German airport operator Fraport and Greek energy firm Copelouzos' unit Slente has won the rights for operating 14 regional airports in Greece, in a €1.23bn privatisation deal.

The deal is a part of the Greek Government's first privatisation move required under the new €86bn bailout announced last week.

The rescue loan is crucial for the country as without it, Greece is likely default on its debts. The country has to pay around €3.2bn to the European Central Bank on 20 August.

A preliminary airport privatisation deal signed in 2014 was delayed after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's government said it would reassess the decision.

Under the latest agreement, the consortium will operate airports at popular tourist destinations including Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes and Corfu.

The JV will invest around €1.4bn to upgrade the airports during the life of the concession and is expected to spend around €330m in the upgrade of airports in the first four years, reported Reuters.

Fraport will also pay an annual guaranteed leasing fee of €22.9m for the airports.

Fraport spokesperson Joerg Machacek was quoted by Bloomberg as saying: "The Greek Government's decision is not tantamount to the conclusion of a contract but rather offers a basis for the resumption of negotiations. We are building up from where we left off."