China’s HNA Airport Holding Group Co., Ltd., which is part of HNA Group Co., Ltd., is currently conducting due diligence proceedings that could lead to the purchase of the approximately 30 percent stake that Odebrecht has in the Rio de Janeiro international airport, commonly known as Galeão, a person briefed on the matter said on Monday.
As a condition to a deal, Odebrecht and partner Changi Airports International Pte Ltd. of Singapore will pour 900 million reais (USD 290 million) into the investment vehicle managing Galeão, representing payment of past-due operating licensing fees, the person said. The payment is expected to take place as early as this week, the person added.
Odebrecht and Changi have a combined 51 percent of Galeão, with Brazil’s civil aviation infrastructure authority Infraero the remainder. The consortium failed to pay the licensing instalment last year, citing a cash crunch amid Brazil’s harshest recession on record.
Odebrecht declined to comment. HNA and Changi press representatives did not immediately respond to e-mails seeking comment.
The move underscores how Odebrecht, the largest Latin American infrastructure conglomerate, is disposing of assets to stay current on about 76 billion reais of net debt and weather the impact of its involvement in Brazil’s worst corruption scandal. The scandal has almost fully shut Odebrecht’s access to credit and new contracts in Brazil and almost a dozen countries.
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