Public spending watchdog says ANA sale lost Portugal millions
Portugal’s public spending watchdog Tribunal de Contas believes that the privatisation of the public company that manages Portugal’s airports, ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal, was sold below value and did not safeguard the public interest.
Reports ECO online news, the privatisation of ANA to Vinci in 2012 did “not safeguard the public interest” and was based on “various irregularities and serious deficiencies” states the Tribunal de Contos.
The sale to Vinci was sealed at €71.4 million “below what had been offered and accepted” and after a rushed valuation by the concession company of Portugal’s 10 main national airports without having made a “prior evaluation” to calculate a base price as was “required by law”.
The Tribunal de Contas also refers to “serious disconformities and inconsistencies” detailed in the conditions of sale document for which the State umbrella company that runs Portugal’s state-owned companies has “no explanation for” and which reveals “a material risk and lack of trustworthiness” of the documents involved in the process and which were “decisive for the choice of buyer”.
The privatisation was essentially a rushed job that failed to secure “all of the necessary conditions (for it to be) “regulated and transparent”, which put the State in a weaker bargaining position.
The final sale price of ANA was just over €1.127Bn after a price of €1.198Bn had already been “offered and accepted”.