9 September 2008, Mexico City - Advent International, the global private equity firm, today announced that it has acquired 100% of Aeropuertos Dominicanos Siglo XXI SA (“Aerodom”), the leading airport group in the Dominican Republic and one of the largest airport operators in Central America and the Caribbean, from the Hazoury Group, Vancouver Airport Services and other local investors. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.
The acquisition, funded with equity from Advent and debt financing from the Bank of Nova Scotia and ING Group, is the first leveraged buyout in the Dominican Republic. It also marks Advent’s 13th deal in the airport sector, underscoring its depth of expertise in this industry.
Advent has established a new company, Latin American Airport Holdings, to hold its interest in Aerodom, as well as certain of its other of its existing airport businesses. The combined group has an enterprise value in excess of US$1 billion and will serve as a platform for acquiring additional airport concessions in Latin America.
Aerodom has a 30-year concession contract with the Dominican Government and the Airport Commission to develop, operate and manage six airports in the Dominican Republic. These include Las Américas in Santo Domingo, which serves as the country’s principal international gateway and is the second-largest airport in terms of passengers; Gregorio Luperón in Puerto Plata; Samaná and Arroyo Barril, both near Samaná; La Isabela in Santo Domingo; and Maria Montéz in Barahona.
More than four million passengers, or about half of all airport passengers in the Dominican Republic, used the Aerodom airports in 2007. Unlike most Latin American airports, which are heavily dependent on tourist traffic, Aerodom has a diversified passenger base, split between tourist, ethnic, business and domestic passengers.
“Aerodom is a market leader in one of the busiest Caribbean destinations by number and growth of tourist, ethnic and business arrivals,” said Luis Solórzano, a Director in Advent International’s Mexico City office. “This investment allows us to leverage our expertise in the airport sector to enhance the value of the business. For example, we see significant potential to increase the percentage of revenue generated from commercial sources, such as duty-free retail, food and beverage, and optimization of terminal space, as we have done with several of our other airport investments.”
Mr. Solórzano continued: “With the creation of Latin American Airport Holdings, we are developing a strong platform for growth in airport assets across the region, serving over 20 million passengers, and the enlarged group will have better access to capital markets to fund further expansion. Additionally, the holding company structure will allow us to achieve certain synergies through sharing of best practices and centralization of administrative costs.”
Aerodom’s existing management and Vancouver Airport Services, its current operating partner, will continue to run the company, and Advent will augment the team with a number of senior executives who have successfully managed other Advent portfolio companies in the airport sector.
“Advent International has a long history of investing in Latin America, particularly in the airport sector, and we look forward to working closely with them as we embark on our next phase of growth,” said Ken Hassard, Commercial Director of Aerodom. “In addition to increasing commercial revenue, we will pursue a number of value-creation initiatives such as improving car parking facilities, expanding infrastructure for private aviation, improving fuel services and expanding cargo operations.”
Advent International in Latin America
Advent International is one of the most established and successful private equity investors in Latin America. Since it began operating in the region 12 years ago, the firm has invested in 37 companies with a combined enterprise value exceeding $8 billion. Advent also has a strong history of realizations, having exited 20 investments, primarily through trade sales and IPOs. Its current LAPEF IV fund, capitalized at $1.3 billion, is the largest private equity fund ever raised for Latin America. For the last three years, Advent has been voted Latin American Private Equity Firm of the Year in a reader poll organized by Private Equity International magazine and PrivateEquityOnline.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Advent International’s Track Record in the Airport Sector
Advent International has been investing in the airport sector for more than a decade and has backed 13 companies spanning a range of sub-sectors including airport concessions, food and beverage, and travel retail.
In addition to Aerodom, Advent’s airport concession investments include Inmobiliaria Fumisa, operator of Terminal 1 of the Mexico City International Airport; AMAIT, operator of the Toluca International Airport in Mexico; and Aeroplazas, a Mexican airport commercial developer, which Advent sold to the Pacific Airport Group.
The firm’s food and beverage investments include IMC Caribe (formerly Airport Shoppes), the leading airport restaurant and in-flight catering group in Puerto Rico; Grupo RA, the No. 1 operator of restaurant concessions in Brazil’s main airports; La Mansión, a leading Mexican casual dining restaurant group, which has expanded into airports; Aerocomidas, Mexico’s leading airport restaurant and bar operator, which Advent sold to Spain’s Áreas; and Elior, Europe’s third-largest contracted food-service business, listed on the Premier Marche.
Advent’s travel retail investments include Dufry, a leading global travel retailer, floated on the SWX Swiss Exchange; Brasif, the No. 1 Brazilian duty-free operator, merged into Dufry and subsequently taken public on BOVESPA; Hudson Group, North America’s premier travel retailer; and Aeroboutiques, Mexico’s largest duty-free operator, floated on the Mexican Stock Exchange and subsequently acquired by Áreas.