Having already secured 97.99% of Aerodrom Ljubljana’s shareholding, German based Fraport now seek to dot the I’s and cross the T’s of outright ownership by acquiring the final 2.01% stake from the remaining minority shareholders.
A strong show of faith in the Brnik based airport has undoubtedly been shown by Fraport, whose total outlay will exceed €234 million, assuming the smooth transition of the final block of shares passes into their ownership. It also highlights Fraport intend to do things their way, not even allowing a very small minority of shareholders to offer any dissenting voices regarding future plans earmarked for Slovenia’s principal airport. Whether the Slovenian government are happy at the prospect of such a key asset passing lock, stock and barrel into private hands, especially those from another country is hard to say. Considering though the keenness, perhaps cloaking very real desperation, of the current administration to offload the fifteen public institutions previously earmarked for privatisation, it would be very hard now for those in government to raise any concerns, however valid they may be. Perhaps a classic case of being careful what you wish for.
It will be interesting to see in the short-term whether changes at Brnik will be imperceptible to the naked eye or if a rapid sea change will commence. In these days of austerity and squeezing every last bit of value out for your money, it is certain that things in the medium to long-term will be refashioned, including, it is assumed, a greater customer-experience in the terminal building and a wider choice of flight destinations. Perhaps the fortunes of Brnik have for too long mirrored those at Adria Airways, an alliance the new owners won’t want to see completely severed but one which less importance is placed upon. As has been well documented in this blog and elsewhere, Adria has its own troubles to extricate itself from. Fraport could therefore look to move away from Brnik’s previous reliance upon Adria, however painful such a decoupling may prove to be.
Further reporting by The Slovenia Times on this issue can be viewed at: Aerodrom Ljubljana: Fraport seeks complete control