A consortium of Istanbul-based TAV Airports Holding and VPE capital, a Russian investment fund, purchased the shares of Kazakhstan’s busiest Almaty Airport and the related jet fuel and catering businesses for $415 million.
The negotiations were held with its former owner – Venus Airport Investment – which went public in 2019.
TAV Airports will be the senior partner in the consortium taking a 75 percent stake. The deal is set to be finalized once all the legal prerequisites and procedures are signed off on. TAV Airports CEO Sani Şener said the company is happy to add Almaty Airport to its portfolio. Almaty, he noted, is strategically located on “the modern Silk Road” from China to Europe and Africa.
“Kazakhstan is the largest country in the region – both geographically and economically and Almaty is the largest city in the country controlling 20 percent of Kazakhstan’s GDP. We believe there’s a significant potential for growth in Almaty Airport, and drawing upon our extensive know-how, we’ll work towards realizing this potential to the fullest,” he said.
Built in 1935, the Almaty airport is the largest in Kazakhstan located 18 kilometers away from Almaty. It accounts for half of the country’s passenger and 68 percent of its cargo traffic.
The airfield, with the capacity of eight to ten flights per hour, is currently connected to 36 international and 18 domestic destinations. In 2019, the airport served 6.4 million passengers, a 13 percent increase since 2018.
The Almaty airport needs to be modernized and its passenger terminal reconstructed.
The 24,000-square meter facility, which can currently accommodate 1,600 passengers per hour, is deemed insufficient to cope with rush hour traffic. The new management plans to invest $200 million to build a new international terminal, which is expected to finish by 2022.
The Almaty airport will be the 15th airport in TAV’s global network that manages airports across three continents, including the Istanbul Atatürk, Ankara, Izmir and Antalya Airports in Turkey, Batumi and Tbilisi in Georgia, Ohrid and Skopje in Macedonia, Zagreb in Croatia, Riga in Latvia and Madinah in Saudi Arabia.
France’s Groupe ADP that operates Charles de Gaulle Airport, Orly Airport, and Le Bourget Airport in Paris owns a 46-percent stake in TAV Airports Holding.
The Turkish-French company is also involved in developing, constructing, and managing aircraft sheds, duty-free shops, hotels, cafés, restaurants, and passenger lounges. In 2019, it served 218 million passengers.