August 6, 2014 / 7:22 PM / 3 years ago

Slovenia enters exclusive talks with Fraport on Ljubljana airport

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FRANKFURT, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Slovenia's state investment firm SDH, which is in charge of selling state assets, said on Wednesday it would start exclusive talks over Ljubljana airport with Germany's Fraport.

The talks for a purchase of Aerodrom Ljubljana will continue for a limited period, SDH said on its website, adding that Fraport was the highest bidder.

If the talks were successful, Fraport, operator of Europe's third-largest airport in Frankfurt, would beat France's Vinci , which said last month it was bidding for Ljubljana airport.

The Slovenian government had said it expected binding bids for the 75.5 percent controlling stake in its largest airport in July.

Selling off state-owned companies is seen as a key component of Slovenia's ability to stabilise its finances and its economy after the government had to spend 3 billion euros ($4 billion) last year to rescue troubled banks and narrowly avoided having to seek an international bailout.

The outgoing government has earmarked 15 companies for privatisation, and has already sold two of them. Others on the list include Slovenia's second-largest bank Nova KBM (NKBM) and telecom firm Telekom.

1 US dollar = 0.7476 euro Reporting by Maria Sheahan and David Evans

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