July 4, 2016 / 3:26 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-French regional airports sale attracts at least 11 offers-sources

(Adds details on the bidders)

By Gilles Guillaume and Cyril Altmeyer

PARIS, July 4 (Reuters) - The sale of 60 percent stakes in the French airports of Nice Cote d’Azur and Lyon-Saint-Exupery has attracted at least 11 firm offers while two potential candidates have dropped out of the race for Nice, sources close to the bidders said on Monday.

Bidders had until midday on Monday to submit their offers, with a decision scheduled for August.

According to one source offers ranged from 750 million to 900 million euros for Nice and from 500 million to 800 million euros for Lyon, or a valuation of 13 to 14 times annual earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

The privatisation of France’s two biggest regional airports is expected to yield up to 1.6 billion euros for the government, which had already sold out of Toulouse-Blagnac airport in 2014.

France is selling the stakes as part of a broader programme of privatisations in recent years to raise cash to help meet budget deficit targets.

The Economy Ministry declined to comment on the offers.

Five companies or consortia have bid for Nice airport, the sources said.

These include Italy’s Atlantia along with EDF’s investment branch EDF Invest; a consortium led by Ardian and including Caisses d’Epargne; Spain’s Ferrovial with Meridiam; a consortium of Vinci, CDC and Predica ; Germany’s Allianz alongside Global Infrastructure Partners.

The consortium comprising Zurich’s airport operator and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board has dropped out, another source said. The consortium declined to comment.

According to another source, Turkish conglomerate Limak left the race after Nice mayor Christian Estrosi said he opposed the candidacy. Limak declined to comment.

Reuters could not immediately confirm if Industry Fund Management (IFM) was still among bidders for Nice.

Six companies or consortia have also bid for Lyon airport, according to the sources.

These include Ardian-Siparex-Caisses d’Epargne-holding JCDecaux;Ferrovial-Meridiam; Vinci-CDC-Predica; Atlantia; Limak-the Cube fund-Geneva airport; and Macquarie along with FFP.

Publicly owned Geneva airport is staying with the Cube consortium but with a symbolic stake of under 1 percent, a source said.

Reuters could not immediately confirm if Industry Fund Management (IFM) was still among bidders.

The Principality of Monaco has said it could join the consortium that wins Nice airport with a stake of around 10 percent, sources said. (Reporting by Gilles Guillaume and Cyril Altmeyer, additional reporting by Matthieu Protard, Arno Schuetze, Seda Sezer; Writing by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Bate Felix, Greg Mahlich)

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