IFM Investors is to make a takeover bid for Flughafen Wien, the listed operator of Vienna Airport following its acquisition of additional shares.

The IFM Global Infrastructure Fund, through Airports Group Europe, now holds over 40% of the entire share capital in Flughafen Wien and as a result, is obliged to launch a mandatory takeover offer under the Austrian Takeover Act, said IFM Investors in a statement.

IFM Investors is offering €33 per share, which represents a premium of 25.5% compared to the last closing price, in a deal that values Flughafen Wien at almost €2.8bn.

According to information on Vienna Airport’s company website, IFM Investors made its first takeover offer in 2014 and it continued to increase its stake in 2016 when it bought an 8.26% stake in Flughafen Wien, taking its total holding to over 38%.

The other shareholders include the Province of Lower Austria with 20%; City of Vienna, also 20% and private employee participation foundation with 10% and the remaining 10.1% trading in free float.

“The takeover offer is required under the Austrian legal framework, but we are not seeking majority control of the company. Based on our understanding of the respective long-term investment horizons, we do not expect the City of Vienna, Lower Austria or the Employee Trust to sell their share,” said Werner Kerschl, IFM Investors’ executive director infrastructure.

Kerschl, said: “During our more than seven years as an existing shareholder, we have recognised Flughafen Wien as a well-managed and well-run company. We have therefore decided to acquire additional shares and can offer an attractive price to all selling shareholders.”

Kerschl said despite the difficult economic situation for the aviation industry, IFM Investors believed in the strong fundamentals of Flughafen Wien and in Austria as a place to invest.

The offer will be subject to applicable regulatory approvals.

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