Brazil Awards $9 Billion In Airport Deals, Prepping Rio For Olympics
Brazil opened two of its busiest airports to private investors on Friday, awarding $9B worth of contracts "in a hotly contested auction as the country overhauls crowded terminals ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics," according to Goy & Vilas Boas of REUTERS. The concessions, in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte, mean private operators will be running the int'l airports in both World Cup host cities next year, "but there will be little time for their investments ahead of the tournament in June." Local contractors and foreign airport operators won the two concessions for a combined 20.8B reais ($9B), paying a premium of more than 250% over minimum bids "as they hope to cash in on a recent boom in Brazilian air travel." It was a welcome victory for President Dilma Rousseff, "who has struggled to restore credibility with the private sector as economic growth slumps and investors complain of a heavy-handed approach to concessions in the power industry and elsewhere." Civil Aviation Secretary Wellington Moreira Franco said, "The result of the auction was exceptional. It proves the country is on steady footing and it's attracting great interest from foreign investors" (REUTERS, 11/22).