May 7, 2018 / 10:33 AM / 17 days ago

Brazil's Viracopos airport operator files for bankruptcy protection

BRASILIA (Reuters) - A company set up to operator Brazil’s Viracopos airport filed for protection from creditors on Monday, according to a securities filing, but assured that operations at the major cargo hub will remain normal.

Aeroportos Brasil SA, which in 2012 won the concession for a 51 percent stake in the Viracopos airport, is jointly owned by Triunfo Participações e Investimentos SA (TPIS3.SA), UTC Engenharia SA and France’s Egis Airport Operation.

Triunfo and UTC each own 45 percent of ABSA, as the operator is known, while Egis controls a 10 percent stake.

In a filing, Triunfo said demand for passenger and cargo transportation at Viracopos has lagged expectations to “absolutely exorbitant and unforeseeable” levels due to reasons that do not fall under the control of the concession holder.

    “Despite unremitting efforts by its owners, the financial situation of the company worsened substantially in recent days, leading to a decision by shareholders to file for bankruptcy protection,” the filing said.

    ABSA had announced in July 2017 it would return the concession to the government to seek other bidders in a new auction, but that process has yeat to lead to concrete results, Trinufo added.

    Viracopos serves the city of Campinas in São Paulo state and shipped 166,000 tonnes of freight in 2016, although that is only 40 percent of the initial plan.

    Reporting by Bruno Federowski, editing by Louise Heavens

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