June 17, 2014 / 4:00 PM / 4 years ago

Ryanair says eyeing Spanish airports privatisation

MADRID, June 17 (Reuters) - European low-cost airline Ryanair is interested in participating in the privatisation of Spanish airport operator AENA, of which the government wants to sell a minority stake, marketing head Peter Bellew said on Tuesday.

“We think they should sell out 100 percent of Aena, but we are interested in the whole process,” Bellew told Reuters, reiterating earlier comments made to Spanish reporters before a presentation in Madrid.

Ryanair is one of AENA’s biggest customers, along with IAG , the owner of British Airways and Spanish carriers Iberia and Vueling.

The Spanish government said last week it wanted to sell up to 49 percent of heavily indebted AENA, the world’s biggest airports operator valued at around 16 billion euros.

It plans to sell 28 percent of AENA, which owns 46 airports at home and also has international interests, in a public offering on the Spanish stock exchange and auction an additional 21 percent to long-term investors.

“We meet these conditions. We have the money and we are long term investors,” Bellew said.

Ryanair has liquid assets worth close to 3 billion euros, including the proceeds of a recent 850 million-euro bond issue, he said. (Reporting by Robert Hetz; Writing by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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