HNA to buy Odebrecht's stake in Brazil airport: Minister

Rio de Janeiro's Galeao airport was 51 per cent owned by the Odebrecht subsidiary and Changi Airport Group.
Rio de Janeiro's Galeao airport was 51 per cent owned by the Odebrecht subsidiary and Changi Airport Group. PHOTO: CHANGI AIRPORTS INTERNATIONAL

BRASILIA • HNA Airport Holding Group will buy out the stake that engineering conglomerate Odebrecht has in Brazil's second-busiest international airport in order to help solve an impasse with a government agency over licensing rights, a Brazilian Cabinet minister said on Monday.

The Chinese company, which is part of HNA Group, has already bought the stake that an Odebrecht subsidiary had in the Rio de Janeiro international airport, also known as RIOgaleao, Mr Wellington Moreira Franco, secretary-general for President Michel Temer's office, told reporters in Brasilia.

Representatives for HNA could not be immediately contacted for comment.

RIOgaleao was 51 per cent owned by the Odebrecht subsidiary and Changi Airport Group. The Brazil government's civil aviation infrastructure watchdog owns the remaining stake.

Brazil's government wanted Odebrecht's exit from the consortium to settle the airport's licensing problems and stem it from the impact of Odebrecht's involvement in the country's worst corruption scandal, people familiar with the deal told Reuters earlier this month.

The scandal has almost fully shut Odebrecht's access to credit and new contracts in Brazil and almost a dozen countries.

Last week, the consortium running RIOgaleao won permission from Brazil's government to restructure 4.5 billion reais (S$2 billion) worth of licensing payments over the next three years, paving the way for the entry of a new partner.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2017, with the headline 'HNA to buy Odebrecht's stake in Brazil airport: Minister'. Print Edition | Subscribe