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Spanish firm eying Auckland Airport - business paper


Wednesday 20th November 2002

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Spanish construction firm Ferrovial Aeropuertos has emerged as the front runner to buy the Auckland City Council's 25.7 percent stake in Auckland International Airport, The Independent business weekly reported today.

The company, which is a 20 percent equity investor in the Southern Cross consortium that in June paid $A5.6 billion ($NZ6.4 billion) for Sydney Airport, is being backed Sydney Airport backer Macquarie Bank, the paper reported.

Macquarie managed funds hold 53 percent of Southern Cross and Macquarie Bank is underwriter of Southern Cross.

The Independent said it understood discussions were under way with Manukau City which holds 10 percent of Auckland Airport.

"Macquarie has suggested that Manukau becomes part-owner of a holding company which will then bid for the council stake, say people close to the discussions," The Independent reported.

Macquarie Bank was neither confirming or denying the speculation.

New Zealand chairman Jim McLay said no Macquarie Airports group would be involved in any acquisition of Auckland Airport.

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