On 28 July 2016, the French government announced that it had selected the prospective purchasers for its shareholdings in airport companies Aéroports de la Côte d’Azur (ACA) and Aéroports de Lyon (ADL).
ACA’s capital is currently 60%-held by the State and 40% by the Nice-Côte d’Azur Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur Region, the Alpes-Maritimes Département and the Nice-Côte d’Azur metropolitan authorities.
ADL’s capital is also 60%-held by the State, with the remaining 40% being held by the Lyon Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, the Rhône Département and the Lyon metropolitan authorities.
These privatisations are taking place pursuant to French law no. 2015-990 of 6 August 2015 on growth, activity and equality of economic opportunities. A call for tenders in respect of each airport was launched by the French State Investments Agency (Agence des Participations de l’Etat) on 10 March 2016.
The State has designated the consortium of Atlantia, Aeroporti di Roma and EDF (EDF Invest) as the prospective purchaser of its holding in ACA’s capital.
The consortium of Vinci Airports, the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and Predica has been designated prospective purchaser of the State’s shareholding in ADL.
The final decision regarding the disposals will be taken after full consultation with ACA’s and ADL’s works councils, and once authorised by the competent merger control and civil aviation authorities.
The French State Investments Agency is advised by Gide, which has put together a team of 20 lawyers led by Thomas Courtel (Public and Infrastructure Law) and Guillaume Rougier-Brierre (M&A), and also including Stéphane Hautbourg (Competition Law) and Foulques de Rostolan (Employment Law), partners.
The consortium of Atlantia, Aeroporti di Roma and EDF (EDF Invest), prospective purchaser of the State’s shareholding in ACA, is advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher.
The consortium of Vinci Airports, the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and Crédit Agricole Assurances (through its subsidiary Predica), prospective purchaser of the State’s shareholding in ADL, is advised by Allen & Overy (and by Dethomas Peltier Juvigny & Associés on competition law aspects).