SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, July 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Puerto Rico's Governor, Luis Fortuno, announced today that Aerostar Airport Holdings, LLC (Aerostar) has been chosen to operate and lease the Luis Munoz Marin (LMM) International Airport for forty years as a public-private partnership (PPP). Aerostar is a 50-50 joint venture between Highstar Capital, an infrastructure investment firm, and the leading Mexican airport management firm Grupo Aeroportario del Sureste, S.A.B. de C.V. (NYSE: ASR; BMV: ASUR) (ASUR). Selected during a competitive bidding process, Aerostar's partners are industry leaders in revitalizing transportation and aviation infrastructure, and managing public-private partnerships.
LMM handles over 8.5 million passengers per year and is served by over 14 airlines. LMM generates over 8,000 direct and indirect jobs and recently opened the newly-constructed Terminal A, which is currently served by Jetblue.
Post-closing, Aerostar's management team will implement its plan to improve the Caribbean's busiest airport to increase aviation services, upgrade essential infrastructure and strengthen Puerto Rico as a leading travel destination. Additionally, this PPP will support job creation and lead to improved efficiencies at the airport.
"We are honored to be selected by Governor Luis Fortuno to be partners in the effort to improve efficiency and profitability at LMM International Airport," said Agustin Arellano Rodriguez, President of Aerostar. "We are committed to taking LMM to the next level to better serve the people of Puerto Rico and strengthen Puerto Rico's standing as a top tourism destination. Importantly, through this agreement all existing airport jobs will be preserved and future infrastructure investments will lead to further job creation in the years to come."Over the course of this concession, Aerostar plans to invest nearly $1.4 billion in capital improvements, including an upfront $615 million leasehold fee, with the goal of improving aviation services and passenger experience while creating crucial jobs for Puerto Rico. In partnership with the Puerto Rico Ports Authority, Aerostar will ensure all existing workers' jobs and benefits will be maintained. The Puerto Rican government has indicated that it estimates that it will receive over $2.6 billion in revenues and other benefits from the PPP over the life of the lease. The closing of the lease remains subject to a number of conditions precedent, including the award of a Part 139 operating certificate by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).