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The only competitor, Spanish Aena, buys Congonhas and ten more terminals for R$ 2.45 billion


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The only one interested in the auction of Congonhas airport, in São Paulo, the Spanish group Aena won this Thursday (18) the concession of the main block with an offer of R$ 2.45 billion (premium of 231%).

The minimum grant for this block was R$ 740.1 million.

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In the auction of the seventh round of the airport concessions program, 15 airports were offered, grouped into three blocks. The terminals were granted to the private sector for a period of 30 years.

This Thursday’s auction was the third round of concessions in blocks, which include six Brazilian states: Amapá, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Pará, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

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Together, the three blocks process about 16% of the country’s total passenger volume, a level equivalent to more than 30 million passengers per year, according to 2019 Anac data (that is, before the pandemic).

The government’s intention when structuring the blocks is to join coveted airports with loss-making terminals.

One of the main terminals in the country, Congonhas airport, in São Paulo, was considered the biggest attraction for investors who plan to have a relevant role in the segment.

It is part of the “SP-MS-PA-MG” Block, which also includes Campo Grande (MS), Corumbá (MS), Ponta Porã (MS), Santarém (PA), Marabá (PA), Parauapebas (PA), Altamira (PA), Uberlândia (MG), Uberaba (MG) and Montes Claros (MG).

The block attracted the interest of the Spanish group Aena, which already operates in six airports in the Northeast region (including Recife, João Pessoa and Maceió), with an investment in these terminals estimated at R$ 1.4 billion.

Aena operates the Madrid-Barajas airport, one of the most important in Europe. The group, however, has a negative evaluation in the administration of Recife airport. As shown in the Panel SA column, in the most recent passenger evaluation ranking prepared by the Ministry of Infrastructure, Recife appears as the second worst evaluated, behind Belém.

The Maceió terminal, which is smaller and also managed by Aena, ranks third among the best in the country.

The deadline for sending the envelopes with the initial bids ended on Monday (15) and, according to sources who followed the process, CCR withdrew from participating, frustrating the government’s expectations.

The first phase of investments, with a period of 60 months, foresees to adapt the taxiways. Airports also need to be adequate to supply passenger service and baggage processing capacity, including passenger terminal, vehicle parking, associated land routes and other supporting infrastructure.

Projections indicate that the movement of passengers in this block should reach 37.5 million in 2052.

The government also requires operators to have experience in processing at least 5 million passengers per year in the last five years or a commitment to contract technical assistance with an operator that meets these requirements.

The second block, “General Aviation”, includes operations that are not regular flights – mainly helicopters and private and small planes. In this set are the Campo de Marte (SP) and the Jacarepaguá airport (RJ).

The estimate is that the movement will reach 700 thousand passengers in 2052. The minimum grant was R$ 560 million.

The only competitor, XP Infra IV, was considered suitable, with an offer of BRL 141.4 million. The move marks the company’s entry into the sector, through XP Asset.

The third group, “North 2”, corresponds to the operation of airports in two capitals: Belém (PA) and Macapá (AP). Both are expected to handle 9 million passengers at the end of the contract, in 2052.

The only competition between companies took place in this lot. The winner was the NovoNorte Aeroportos consortium, with an offer of R$ 125 million. She won the second offer, da Vinci, of R$ 115 million.

The Minister of Infrastructure, Marcelo Sampaio, said that he was satisfied with the result of the auction and that Aena has done a great job in the Northeast. “For us it is important to have this diversity, with players of great international importance. This plane, which is Brazil, has been producing results every month. Brazil becomes a safe destination for the world’s capital.”

He also took the opportunity to praise the government, saying that the country has put an end to systemic corruption and that it has the cheapest energy and fossil fuels in the world. Sampaio also celebrated measures, such as the sanitation milestone and the pension reform.

Better than having two or three competitors is having a 231% premium, said the minister, while reinforcing criticism to the press, that good news from the government is always accompanied by consideration.

He also attributed the low number of competitors to the challenging world scenario, with emphasis on the Ukrainian War and its impacts on the international economy.

By the end of the year, the minister said that the plan is to re-bid the airport of São Gonçalo do Amarante, in Natal (RN), closing with 50 airports auctioned in four years, and lots of highways, such as the auction of BR- 381, in the Minas Gerais section.

Aena said that the group sees Brazil with interest and that the company can contribute with its experience in managing airports. The company says it knows how to operate with all the security that this type of operation requires. The group also justified the 231% premium for the planning and complexity of the project.

XP fund representatives said that Campo de Marte and Jacarepaguá also have real estate exploration appeal, such as on Avenida Olavo Fontoura, in the north of São Paulo, and that a part of the executive aviation of Congonhas should be absorbed by Campo de Marte in the coming years, which should increase the operation’s revenue.

Jacarepaguá is also seen by them as an opportunity for real estate exploration and service by helicopters for transport linked to the oil sector, in the Campos Basin.

Representatives of the NovoNorte consortium stated that they have the competence to improve the quality of transport for residents of the North region, improving the quality of service provided at Belém airport and increasing the potential for international flights from the terminal.

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