Vinci Airports, the airport subsidiary of French concessions and construction company VINCI Group, signed an agreement with private equity firm Advent International to acquire Aeropuertos Dominicanos Siglo XXI, SA (AERODOM).
AERODOM, which reported revenues of US$130 million in 2014, is one of the biggest airport operators in Central America and the Caribbean. The company has a concession contract with the Dominican Government to develop, operate and manage six airports in the Dominican Republic until 2030. The airports include Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo, which serves as the principal international gateway to the country’s capital and is the second-largest airport in terms of passengers (after Punta Cana); Gregorio Luperon in Puerto Plata; Samana and Arroyo Barril, both near Samana; La Isabela in Santo Domingo; and Maria Montez in Barahona.
The transaction and the transfer of operations are expected to take place by the end of the first quarter of 2016.
AERODOM’s six airports in the Dominican Republic handled 4.3 million passengers in 2014, 98% of them international.
The six airports include: Las Américas, serving Santo Domingo since 1959, reported total traffic of to 3.3 million passengers in 2014; Gregorio Luperón in Puerto Plata is the gateway to the island’s second largest tourist destination, with 787,000 passengers in 2014; Presidente Juan Bosch and Arroyo Barril in Samaná, La Isabela in Santo Domingo and María Montez in Barahona together served a total of 247,000 passengers in 2014.
With an average annual growth rate of 5% over the past 10 years, the Dominican Republic features an attractive economy and forms a dynamic region, reports Vinci. The country notably benefits from North American growth and the local authorities’ ambitious tourism expansion policy.
Vinci Airports currently manages the development and operations of 25 airports: 11 in France, 10 in Portugal (including the hub of Lisbon), 3 in Cambodia and, since Oct. 1, 2015, one in Santiago, Chile.
The new acquisition will bring the number of airports operated by VINCI Airports to 33, including two Kansai airports in Japan, for which Vinci Airports, in partnership with Orix, signed a preliminary agreement last November. Terms of the AERODOM transaction were not disclosed. Local press reports indicated that Advent paid $350 million for the company in 2008.
US private equity fund Advent International bought Aerodom in September 2008 from local conglomerate Grupo Hazoury and Canadian airport operator Vancouver Airport Services, along with other minority local investors. Advent has since worked with management to improve and grow the business significantly.
Among the initiatives, the company formed a new route-development group to increase traffic to its airports and launched an energy cost reduction program, which lowered energy consumption by approximately 20%. Aerodom also repaved and expanded the runway of Las Américas airport, remodeled the Las Américas and Gregorio Luperón terminals and built 17 new hangars. In 2014, Las Américas received the prestigious ACI Airport Service Quality award for “Best Improvement” by an airport in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“We are proud of what we have achieved at Aerodom in partnership with the company’s management team,” said Luis Solórzano, a Managing Director in Advent’s Mexico City office. “Together, we have improved operations and expanded both the commercial and aeronautical sides of the business, resulting in significant revenue and productivity growth. We believe Vinci Airports is the ideal partner for Aerodom as it enters the next stage of its development and wish the company continued success well into the future.”
“The acquisition of Aerodom by of one of the world’s leading airport operators underscores the importance of our company in the Dominican Republic and will allow us to operate at the highest international standards,” said Mónika Infante, CEO of Aerodom. “We thank Advent for its continued support over the past seven years in developing Aerodom into a world-class airport operator.”