French airport operator Vinci Airports has agreed to buy 29.99% of Mexican airport operator OMA (Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte), adding 13 airports in northern and central Mexico to its portfolio.
Once the transaction closes, Vinci will become the leading shareholder of the OMA group. OMA’s airports handled a total of 18 million passengers in 2021. Vinci said Monterrey International Airport (MTE), which serves Mexico’s industrial capital, is the fifth-largest airport in the country and accounts for nearly half of OMA’s passenger numbers. Vinci said that 2022 second-quarter passenger numbers in Mexico, the third most-populous country in the Americas, had exceeded pre-pandemic levels.
Vinci already operates 12 airports in France as well as others in countries such as Chile, Japan, Portugal, Serbia, the UK and the US.
Final closing on the deal is expected by the end of 2022 and will leave Vinci with more than 70 airports in 13 countries, including recent additions in Brazil and Cape Verde as the airport operator pursues its international expansion strategy.
OMA’s airports include Chihuahua International (CUU) and Ciudad Juárez International (CJS) airports, which are important to Mexico’s mining industry. Additional OMA-run facilities include Culiacán International (CUL) and Mazatlán International (MZT) airports, as well as eight regional and tourism airports on the Pacific Coast and in Central Mexico: Acapulco (ACA), Durango (DGO), Reynosa (REX), San Luis Potosí (SLP), Tampico (TAM), Torreón (TRC), Zacatecas (ZCL) and Zihuatanejo (ZIH).
“The remaining concession period will allow Vinci Airports to deploy its long-term partnership model to support the country’s tourism industry and economic growth,” the France-based airport operator said. The contract would end in 2048.