Zurich Airport to divest 12 per cent stake in BIAL

Zurich Airport, operator and stakeholder of the Bangalore International Airport (BIAL), has said it intends to divest up to 12% of its stake in the airport even as it prepares for the next phase of the airport's expansion. It said it will divest to either an existing shareholder or a new strategic partner.

Post divestment Zurich Airport will retain a 5% minority stake as well as representation on the board. It said it had formally launched the Right of First Refusal Process.

Zurich Airport was selected as operator and co-investor for the new Greenfield airport in Bangalore, in 2001 as part of a consortium, including Siemens and L&T. In May 2008, the airport successfully commenced operations and has since maintained high international quality standards.

Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) is currently planning the next phase of expansion of the airport, which will include an additional terminal as well as a second runway.

Zurich Airport has formally launched the Right of First Refusal Process with a valuation expectation for 12% in BIAL shares of approximately Swiss francs 100 million ($97 million) before taxes. The divestment process is expected to take 4 months.

The company underlined its continued commitment to the Indian aviation sector, noting: ''Based on the valuable experience of the past, Zürich Airport is willing to further invest in project opportunities in the Indian sub-continent together in a strong partnership. It is thus committed to the modernisation of the Indian airport infrastructure by bringing the expertise of an international airport operator.''