Chinese companies lead the acquisition of France’s fourth largest airport

Chinese companies lead the acquisition of France’s fourth largest airportMar. 21 – With increasing China outbound tourism, some Chinese investment have targeted overseas airports. Friedman Pacific Asset Management Ltd. announced its plan to invest in three-to-five overseas airport projects over the next three years and intends to seek additional investment opportunities in Europe, to meet China market demand for outbound tourism.

Recently, Friedman Pacific Asset Management, Shandong Hi-speed Company, and SNC-Lavalin formed a consortium and had the winning bid to acquire 49.99% of the shares in Toulouse Blagnac Airport – France’s fourth largest airport. This € 308m deal is expected to be finalized within three months and will be China’s first significant investment in overseas airports. Upon finalization, the French government and other French enterprises will hold the remaining 50.01% of shares.

Toulouse Blagnac Airport or Aéroport de Toulouse – Blagnac (IATA: TLS, ICAO: LFBO) is an airport located 3.6 nautical miles (6.7 km; 4.1 mi) west northwest of Toulouse, and partially in Blagnac, both communes of the Haute-Garonne department in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France. Both Airbus and ATR assemble aircraft at nearby facilities and test them from the airport. Extreme proximity from the city creates a need to limit planes flying over the city. Nonetheless, the laissez-faire policy lead to an increasing traffic.

Moreover, China’s largest non-state conglomerate Fosun International said on Friday that it has purchased a 5% stake in British travel agency Thomas Cook Group, as it continues to explore Europe’s tourism market. Fosun paid US$140m for the equity and will seek to double its holding in Thomas Cook to 10%, according to the former’s filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange. The price of the deal, which is being executed by Fosun’s Portuguese subsidiary Companhia de Seguros, represents a 4.1% premium to London-listed Thomas Cook’s closing price on Thursday.

Thomas Cook is expected to help Fosun promote holiday services at France’s Club Med which Fosun acquired last month. Club Med is struggling in Europe and moving into emerging markets such as China, where demand for international tours is booming. Thomas Cook is stuck in a cost reduction plan, following a US$80m loss during the three months through December 31, 2014. For the List of Chinese / Asian Tour operators offering trips to Europe / Netherlands available upon request, please contact with DCCC, or email to:info@dccchina.org