Turkish Airports Company TAV keen to invest in ASEAN airports

TAV – the Turkish company which runs most Turkish airports including Istanbul Ataturk International- is looking to expand its portfolio across the world. In an interview on May 10 with Reuters in Dubai, Chief Executive Sani Sener told that TAV is planning to bid for new tenders in Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and India in the next 12-24 months.

“We are going to be very active in South East Asia and Africa and the Middle East, where we will continue to be active,” he said. “We are a company from an emerging market and we always like the growth in emerging markets. The growth will be in emerging markets from now on.”

TAV currently operates 14 airports in Turkey and other countries, including Georgia, Tunisia and Macedonia.

However, time is ticking for the Turkish airports operator. The company needs to expand overseas in a bid to offset the impact of the end of its contract to run Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport. Istanbul will have a brand new airport by 2018 and Ataturk, the current main gateway, is slated for closure to traffic by 2021. TAV lost the tender to manage the new airport to another Turkish company.

Ataturk accounts for 60% of 2015 EBITDA – earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation while about 20% of the company’s revenue from airport operations originates from outside Turkey.

That percentage of income from foreign operations will rise in the coming years, Sener said. Southeast Asia is already a most-desired area for expansion.

The company is part of a consortium that has received preliminary qualification to bid for a group of five airports in the Philippines. In August 2015, a consortium comprising TAV submitted a pre-qualification document which “  consists of the operations and maintenance of the Bacolod-Silay, Iloilo, Davao, Laguindingan and New Bohol-Panglao [Tagbilaran] airports, which served around 9 million passengers in 2014,” according to a written statement to the Philippines Public Disclosure Platform (KAP).

It is also hoping to bid for Indian deals, with about 50 airports being considered for potential privatisation. The company is already bidding for managing airports in Vietnam. The country launched an IPO for a 25% share in Airports Corporation of Vietnam – operator of 22 airports in the country. A total of 152 investors, including 16 institutional players, were in on the action, raising $49.6 million. Indonesia also announced plans to build 15 new airports with the involvement of the private sector and privatise existing airfields. But so far, political pressure has put uncertainties to any short-term privatisation process.

(Partial source: Reuters)