Greece says three groups reach final stage of airport tender
ATHENS Nov 24 (Reuters) - The three groups bidding to lease and operate 14 of Greece's 39 regional airports have met the necessary technical requirements and their offers will be opened on Tuesday, the privatisation agency said on Monday.
The tender to operate airport terminals at some of Greece's most popular tourist islands such as Rhodes, Corfu, Mykonos and Santorini is part of the country's privatisation programme, following a 240 billion euro ($303 billion) EU/IMF bailout.
Privatisations to raise funds to pay down public debt have been a key part of the bailout, but the programme has consistently fallen short of targets.
The country's privatisation agency HRADF said Germany's Fraport jointly with Slentel Ltd, Argentina's holding company Corporation America with Greek engineering firm Metka , and France's Vinci with Greek contractor Ellaktor had met the technical specifications.
The privatisation agency said in October that these three groups, out of seven short-listed last year, had put in binding bids for the airports.
HRADF said it would open the three financial offers on Tuesday.
Officials at the agency have said would-be investors are expected to spend about 300 million euros to upgrade the airports that will be leased for 40 years.
Greece has signed privatisation deals worth about 5 billion euros since it was bailed out four years ago, raising about 3 billion in cash. The sum is far below an original target of 22 billion euros for 2010-2013.
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos and Angeliki Koutantou; editing by David Clarke)
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