Australia’s Finance Ministry will
resume attempts to sell Sydney Airports Corp, which operates Sydney’s Kingsford
Smith International Airport, in the next few months after Ansett’s future is
Sale machinery will crank into gear
in the next few weeks as advisor Salomon Smith Barney believes sentiment now
supports a sale, reports local media.
Ministers will give the word to
launch a bidding process once the Ansett sale is completed, a government source
tells ATI. Ansett, the country's second national
airline, collapsed in September but is in the process of being taken over by a
group headed by two Melbourne businessmen.
Pressure is building upon the Australian
Government to get the sale underway if it is to meet its self-imposed 30 June
deadline. The Government halted the sale of the country's largest
airport last September, blaming the terrorist attacks on the USA for destroying
But doubts among bidders may have
been building before the attacks.
Of the three consortia bidding then,
the Connect Group that included ABN Amro, French group CDC and Australian
banks, confirmed its airport partners Fraport and Schiphol Group had withdrawn.
The two other consortia were known
as Sydney Gateway and Southern Cross. The former included AMP Henderson and
Deutsche Bank, while the latter comprised Australian banks as well as German
construction group Hochtief.
It is not clear if the consortia
will re-bid or will change shape.