Chinese aviation and logistics group HNA, parent of Shanghai-based Hainan Airlines, and French developer Vinci, are the only two parties left in bidding for German builder Hochtief’s minority interests in six airports – which industry sources say has reached €1.5bn. 
Hochtief wants to sell airport stakes in Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Athens, Budapest, Tirana and Sydney. The package is said by sources to be worth some €1.68bn, after Hochtief only recently raised its stake in Budapest by €250m to almost 50%. The book value is far below that amount, but the sale needs to be finalised this year. 
Frankfurt Airport operator Fraport and Deutsche Bank fund manager RREEF have pulled out of the bidding below €1.3bn, according to Reuters news agency. “We concentrated on the other two bidders, from whom we see stronger interest and higher tenders,” said a Hochtief representative. Vinci is considered to have the advantage, as it already holds several regional airports in France and has some purchase options. 
However, HNA has deep pockets and has shown growing signs of wishing to expand in Europe strategically. It has signed an agreement to buy a 20% stake in Spain’s 4-star NH Hoteles for €431m, with closure recently delayed slightly until this October.
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