According to the request for proposals (RFP) sent to banks, the adviser will be responsible for a valuation of the existing Abu Dhabi International Airport for possible part-sale to a private investor. The government of Abu Dhabi would retain a sizeable stake in the operating company, the notice said.

The duration of the mandate is six weeks, but Citigroup is given the option of proposing the terms for a fuller advisory role on the expansion project and of acting as a mandated lead arranger (MLA) on the debt package, which could include capital market, Islamic and export credit, as well as conventional, tranches.

The scope of the mandate marks a major departure for the government of Abu Dhabi, which has never previously sought commercial financing for infrastructure projects outside the power and water sector.

The US’ Parsons Internationalis acting as programme manager on the airport expansion, which is due to be completed by 2010 (MEED 17:6:05).