China Everbright Limited is pleased to announce that Keen Dynamics Limited (KDL), its joint venture with Friedmann Pacific Asset Management Limited which focuses on global airport investments, has signed an agreement to acquire Tirana International Airport SHPK , the concessionary developer and operator of the capital airport of Albania. Upon closing of the deal, KDL will take over Tirana’s airport concession until 2025 (with 2 years extension to 2027, pending for Albanian government’s approval).
Tirana International Airport is Albania’s most important transport hub, and is one of the fastest growing airports in Europe. Number of passengers increased from 600,000 in 2005 to 2 million in 2015. The airport in itself is testimony to Albania’s rapid economic development.
Chen Shuang, CEO of CEL said, “CEL is in the process of establishing its China Everbright Overseas Infrastructure Fund which eyes on global infrastructure opportunities, and the acquisition of the Tirana International Airport signs the first move. Upon completion of the deal, KDL, a controlled platform of COIF will take complete charge of TIA. CEL and Friedmann Pacific possess long-term business partnership since their collaboration in the investment of China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings Limited. The joint investment this time brings together the financial resources and networks from CEL, together with the expertise in sourcing overseas airports from Friedmann Pacific, which results in a great synergy. Also, we believe that acquisition of the quality asset will create stable cash flow and good investment return to the company and its shareholders.”
China is currently Albania’s third largest trading partner. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama have pledged to enhance infrastructure cooperation of the two countries at the fourth leaders’ meeting between China and Central and Eastern European countries (“China-CEE Leaders’ Meeting”) held in November 2015. China supports domestic companies in actively participating in Albania’s economic development while Albania is keen to expand cooperation in agricultural trade and tourism and plans to streamline visa access for Chinese people. The TIA acquisition is also part of the corporate strategy to identify good infrastructure investment opportunities, which is in line with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.