SEA says Milan airport traffic down in Oct, Nov

MILAN Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:19am EST

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MILAN Nov 22 (Reuters) - Italian airport operator SEA, aiming for a Dec. 6 stock market debut, said traffic in Milan fell in October and November, after a major investor complained the data were missing from the share sale prospectus.

F2i, an infrastructure investment fund with a 30 percent stake in SEA and opposed to its initial public offering, said the traffic data were significant and should have been included, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

SEA's listing, in which its plans to float up to 23.8 percent of the firm, would be only the third on the Italian stock exchange since 2011. It is backed by the city of Milan, SEA's largest shareholder with a 56 percent stake.

SEA said passenger traffic at Milan's Linate airport fell 3.1 percent in October year-on-year, its first decline this year, and was down 6.5 percent in the first 20 days of November.

Passenger traffic at Malpensa fell 6.5 percent in October and 2.1 percent in the first 20 days of November.

It did not give data for cargo traffic.

Last week, SEA set a price range of 3.2-4.3 euros per share, valuing it at up to 1.075 billion euros ($1.4 billion), according to the IPO prospectus.

F2i, which bought its stake in SEA last December when the group was valued at around 1.3 billion euros, is opposed to the terms and the timing of the IPO, one of the sources said.

"They picked the worst possible moment in the year for the world economy and for the business in which SEA operates," the source said.

In a letter to the Milan city council, seen by Reuters, F2i said it would respect its commitments towards the company but had "no obligation to accept a listing at any cost or context whatsoever".

In its statement, SEA also said it had signed a new three-year financing contract worth 130 million euros with a group of banks.

Banca IMI, Mediobanca, Morgan Stanley and UniCredit are global coordinators for the share offer. ($1 = 0.7801 euro) (Writing by Silvia Aloisi; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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