Private management taking the controls at Kansai Airport

posted on November 11, 2015

A Franco-Japanese alliance is embarking on a long-term -- some would say riskily so -- venture to bring more bustle to the main hub for Japan's third-largest city.

The transport ministry has approved the transfer of the operating rights to Kansai Airport and the much smaller Osaka International Airport to a consortium led by Japanese leasing giant Orix and France's Vinci Airports, the current operator said Tuesday. The deal goes down as Japan's biggest private finance initiative -- the funding of public infrastructure with private money.

The alliance will pay 2.2 trillion yen ($17.8 billion) to run both locations for the 44 years through fiscal 2059. Orix and Vinci Airports will each own 40% of a special-purpose operating company to be established this year, with 30 other mostly Osaka-area corporations putting up the rest of the capital. This latter bunch includes Kansai Electric Power and railroad and retail group Hankyu Hanshin Holdings.

State-owned New Kansai International Airport Co. will retain ownership of the runways, terminals and other facilities after handing over the operating rights. Proceeds from the sale will go partly toward repaying debt -- around 1.12 trillion yen as of March 31 -- incurred in building Kansai Airport and other activities.

source by nikkei
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