European DFI acquires indirect stake in Jordan’s Queen Alia airport

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development invests €30.5m under deal

Foster + Partners newly opened terminal at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan. Credit: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners
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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a development finance institution (DFI), acquired an indirect equity stake in the company operating Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan, it said in a statement on Monday.

The bank said it is committing “up to €30.5 million” (Dh127.9m) to Airports International Group (AIG), the operator and developer of QAIA, by purchasing an indirect stake in Meridiam Eastern Europe Investments, which acquired 32 per cent of AIG last year.

Jordan has been a shareholder in EBRD since 2012 and the bank has committed more than €1.3 billion to 43 projects in the Middle Eastern country to date, as well as providing $120m of trade finance to local Jordanian banks.

AIG, a private shareholding company, holds the 25-year concession from the Government of Jordan for operating and expanding the airport, which was expected to handle 8.2 million passengers in 2018 compared to 7.9m in 2017.

Last April, a consortium comprising Meridiam, ADP Group and Asma Capital acquired 85.25 per cent of shares in AIG from several selling shareholders. ADP, one of the world’s largest airport companies, increased its stake to 51 per cent and Meridiam acquired 32 per cent.

AIG said last year the airport planned to have 46 airlines operating by the end of 2018 and four more in 2019 from across Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Africa.

EBRD said on Monday it is “helping to strengthen the resilience of the Jordanian economy” through its participation in the QAIA project. “It aims to be a catalyst that will attract more investment capital into public-private-partnership projects and support the development of a secondary market for PPPs to attract institutional investors,” the statement said.

QAIA was inaugurated in 1983 to become Jordan’s gateway to the world. It is located 35 kilometres from the capital, Amman, and has flights to 76 non-stop destinations.