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Portugal auctions off airport company for $4B

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[December 28, 2012]  LISBON, Portugal (AP) -- French airport operator Vinci will pay euro3.1 billion ($4.1 billion) to run 10 Portuguese airports for the next 50 years under Portugal's sell-off of state companies to reduce its public debt.

Vinci Concessions offered more than the minimum euro2.5 billion officials wanted for national airport management company ANA, beating two other European suitors and one from Argentina.

Portugal's government approved Vinci's bid Thursday. It is selling state companies under conditions of a euro78 billion international bailout package.

The revenue helps pay down the debt, forecast to reach almost 120 percent of gross domestic product this year.

Portugal already has sold state power and electrical grid companies to Chinese companies for euro3.3 billion. Also facing sale are national mail company CTT, waste treatment company EGF and the national rail cargo operator.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.






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