Budapest, January 19, 2006 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – White & Case advised British Airport Operator, BAA Holdings Limited, in the privatisation of state-
state-owned Budapest Airport Rt. The transaction closed on December 22, 2005 and was valued at HUF464.5 billion (approximately $2.2 billion), making it the largest privatisation in Hungary to date.
Under the terms of the deal, BAA acquired a 75 percent minus one share stake in Hungary’s international airport and agreed on a 75-year asset management contract with the Hungarian State. BAA, which operates London’s Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports, bested two German rivals in its selection by ÁPV Rt., the state privatisation agency. Hungarian finance minister Janos Veres said that, “BAA’s bid achieved the highest score, in terms of both the bid’s evaluation and the price offered.”
István Réczicza, lead White & Case partner advising on the deal, said, “This transaction represents what could be one of the last major privatisations for Hungary, and the price BAA offered is the highest amount to date that has been offered for a Hungarian government asset.” He added, “Budapest Airport handled nearly 8 million passengers in 2005 and BAA has also committed to investing a further HUF65.25 billion (approx. $315 million) to make the airport one of the busiest hubs in Central Europe, where it is already one of the most popular due to the huge influx of low-cost airlines following Hungary’s accession to the EU in May 2004.”
White & Case’s advice to BAA included an analysis of the legal and regulatory framework for the transaction; assistance in the preparation of an indicative offer and structuring of the transaction; conducting due diligence and the development of a definitive offer in the tender process; and drafting and negotiation of the share purchase agreement, the asset management contract and other documents. Following the selection of BAA, the firm prepared and negotiated the final transaction documents, which were signed on December 18, 2005.
Working alongside Réczicza in Budapest were: partners Zsuzsa Kovács and Károly Fóti; associates Gergő Budai, Ildikó Csák, Szilvia Gecser, Szabolcs Posta, Tibor Szántó, Ákos Dérer, Balázs Fazekas, Dániel Szeszlér and Andrea Spisák. Involved in the New York office was partner Villiers Terblanche and associates Jason K. Webber and Daniel Tan. In Brussels the team comprised partner Mark Powell and associates Krzysztof Kuik and Christoph Arhold.