France's major airport management company Aeroport de Paris plans to invest in the Airports Corporation of Vietnam when the latter sells half its shares to private investors next year.
Frederic Dupeyron, general director of the French company, also known as ADP, expressed interest in a strategic partnership with ACV during a meeting with Transport Minister Dinh La Thang on Wednesday, Thoi Bao Kinh Te Saigon reported.
Dupeyron said privatizing ACV, the state-owned developer and manager of all airports in Vietnam, is the best way to rapidly modernize the country's air travel infrastructure.
He said ADP is willing to participate in the privatization as well as to invest in Long Thanh Airport, which is slated for construction in Dong Nai Province outside Ho Chi Minh City.
During the meeting, Thang said he has instructed ACV to complete its appraisal process so the initial public offering can begin next year.
The ministry plans to keep 75 percent of the company’s charter capital of nearly 14.7 trillion (more than US$693 million) under government control.
ACV’s investment plan for the $7.8 billion Long Thanh Airport is being reviewed by the central government agencies that will present the plan to the legislature for final approval this October.
Due to its high cost, the planned airport, located some 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of Ho Chi Minh City, will receive investment in two stages -- starting in 2016 and 2023 respectively, according to the plan.
ACV manages 22 airports in Vietnam, and earned a 2013 revenue of more than VND8.41 trillion (US$396.83 million) and a pretax profit of VND1.35 trillion ($63.67 million).
More than half of the earnings came from the two international airports Noi Bai in Hanoi and Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City.
The Southern Airports Services Company (SASCO), which is an AVC’s subsidiary in charge of providing ground services at Tan Son Nhat, on Thursday sold nearly 31.1 million shares worth a total of VND601.1 billion ($28.36 million) to 12 investors on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange during the first day of its IPO.
SASCO’s privatization plan is to keep more than VND1.3 trillion ($62 million) or 51 percent of its charter capital state-owned, sell 1.75 percent of the capital to its employees, 23.65 percent to the public and 23.6 percent to strategic investors.
SASCO is one of the three major subsidiaries of ACV in addition to NASCO which manages Noi Bai airport and MASCO in Danang.