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Aecon pursuing Bermuda airport stake sale

By Jay Antenen, Jonathan Carmody and Matt O'Brien

Canadian engineering group Aecon is in talks to sell a stake in its concession for the L.F. Wade International Airport in Bermuda, said three sources familiar with the matter.

The sale process is currently in the second round, two of the sources added. Aecon, publicly listed in Toronto, is scheduled to report earnings on 28 February.

In early 2019, Aecon executives suggested they could consider a sale of the concession, operated by subsidiary Bermuda Skyport, once they completed construction of a new passenger terminal at the airport. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, bringing global tourism to a halt.

Construction proceeded and the terminal opened to passengers in late 2020 on budget and on time.

Air visitors to the Atlantic Ocean island remain well below pre-COVID levels with 146,000 arriving in 2022 compared to 296,000 in 2019, according to the Bermuda Tourism Authority. Still, 2022 visits more than doubled 2021 levels.  

Canadian Commercial Corporation and Aecon secured a 30-year contract in 2017 to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the airport, including building a new terminal, through a public-private partnership. The project raised USD 285m in debt and Aecon contributed USD 70m in equity.

Aecon representatives did not return requests for comment. A representative at Skyport declined to comment.

Additional reporting by Eva Llorens