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World’s largest airport operator: Mayer Brown and Davis Polk help Spain’s €4.3bn AENA float take-off

Mayer Brown and Davis Polk & Wardwell have won roles advising Spanish airport operator Aena (Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea) on its €4.3bn float on the Madrid Stock Exchange.

The Spanish government sold its 49% stake in Aena, the world’s largest airport operator with some 47 airports worldwide, to raise €4.3bn, giving the group a total equity value of up to €8.7bn.

Mayer Brown’s London based banking and finance partner Robert Flanigan advised Aena alongside partner George Baptista out of New York, while local firm Pérez-Llorca’s capital markets head Vicente Conde also advised the airports operator.

Madrid-based corporate partner Michael Willisch at Davis Polk advised the underwriters including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch while Uría Menéndez corporate partner Alfonso Ventoso also acted for the underwriters.

In what is the largest floatation on the Madrid stock market since the onset of the financial crisis, the initial public offering (IPO) has shown signs of a sustained economic recovery in Spain.

The group had originally intended to float in the fourth quarter of 2014, however the IPO was put on hold after the Spanish government decided to re-appoint an auditor through a public tender process. Following the procurement process the auditor was switched from PwC to Ernst & Young (EY) with the delay working well for the government which at the end of 2014 was expecting to raise around €3.8bn.