Macquarie Airports To Sell Japan Airport Stake

Australian investment bank Macquarie has offered to sell all of its 19.9 percent stake in Japan Airport Terminal, ending a showdown with the Japanese government.

Macquarie bought the stake in 2007, prompting Tokyo to consider implementing restrictions on foreign ownership in Japanese airport operators.

Macquarie has agreed to sell the stake back to JAT in a tender offer JAT will hold from June 30 to July 28 to buy back a total 22 percent of its own shares at 1,000 yen (USD$10.38) each, JAT said Tuesday.

"While we still expect JAT's strategy to bear fruit, the external environment has changed significantly since we made the investment and, given the size of our interest, we will not have the opportunity to apply our active management," Kerrie Mather, CEO at Macquarie Airports, said in a statement Wednesday.

Macquarie Airports is a fund managed by the investment bank and is one of the world's largest private airport owners and operators, with airports in Sydney, Japan, Mexico and Europe. It has a market value of about AUD$3.35 billion.

If MAP's entire 14.9 percent interest should be acquired at the tender offer price, MAP would expect to realise a maximum of about AUD$260 million (USD$202 million).

As a result, Macquarie Airports would cut its 2009 distribution to 21 cents per security, from earlier guidance of 27 cents.

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