Medina airport financing set to close later this month

14 May 2012

Funding for $1.5bn airport privatisation plan has to close soon

A consortium led by Turkey’s TAV Airports Holding Company hopes to reach financial close on the funding for the $1.5bn project to redevelop Medina airport by early June.

The consortium was awarded the contract in October 2011, and given around six months to complete the financing by the General Authority for Civil Aviation (Gaca), the government agency behind the project.

Although slightly later than planned, the financing is now entering the final stages. Sources close to the deal say that a last round of meetings with banks funding the project is due to occur in mid-May, and that financial close should be possible within a month.

The deal is being financed by the local Arab National Bank, SABB, National Commercial Bank – which is also acting as Islamic structuring bank – and Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.

Medina airport is being developed as a public-private partnership, one of the first airport projects in the country to implement this type of development model.

The financial structure of the deal is understood to have taken longer to put together than expected because it is one of the first times that Islamic finance has been used as the basis for financing an airport.

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