The M&A team of CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati advised Flughafen Wien AG (Vienna International Airport – "VIE") in the acquisition of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.’s indirect stake in Malta International Airport plc ("Airport Malta"). The cross-border deal was successfully closed on 30 March 2016.
The total value of the transaction amounts to approximately € 64 million, equivalent to € 3.00 per Airport Malta share, subject to working capital adjustments.
Before the transaction, VIE indirectly held a consolidated 32.94% participation in the Airport Malta. SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. indirectly held 15.5% in the Airport Malta and was VIE’s consortium partner. By acquiring SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.’ stake, VIE could expand its successful involvement in the Airport Malta. The total consolidated holding of VIE in Airport Malta after closing of the transaction is now more than 48%.
CHSH acted as lead counsel to VIE in this cross-border transaction, which involved multi-layer holding structures in various jurisdictions (Malta, Austria, Canada), as well as a number of complex legal issues (ranging from public procurement, takeover laws, competition laws to contract law). “These challenges could be met by CHSH due to its sound experience in cross-border-transactions and the strong collaboration with its global network of partner law firms”, explained Johannes Aehrenthal and Georg Konrad, partners at CHSH. CHSH regularly advises VIE and had already been involved in the acquisition of VIE’s participation in Kosice Airport and regarding the privatisation of the Airport Malta.
The deal at CHSH was led by the partners Johannes Aehrenthal and Georg Konrad (both corporate) and, moreover, consisted of the partner Thomas Trettnak (takeover), the partner Bernhard Kofler-Senoner and the attorney Michael Mayer (both competition) and the associate Jakob Hartig (corporate).
Malta Airport is operated by Malta International Airport plc, which is registered in Malta. Its shares are listed on the Malta Stock Exchange. 20% of the shares in the company are held by the Government of Malta. The airport handled over 4.6 million passengers in 2015
Founded in 1911 and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. is one of the leading engineering and construction groups in the world and a major player in the ownership of infrastructure with offices in over 50 countries.
Vienna Airport, Austria’s largest airport, handled 22.8 million passengers in 2015. Listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange, the company generated revenues of € 630.2 million in 2014. In addition to its holding in Airport Malta, Vienna Airport also holds 66% of Kosice Airport in Slovakia. The airport site has over 230 companies with 20,000 employees, including approximately 4,400 employees just at Flughafen Wien AG, making it one of the largest employers in Eastern Austria.