Sacyr allowed the deal to run the airport to elapse whilst playing hardball with Murcia region last year over a 200 million euro bond that was due, and that Sacyr was refusing to pay.
The bond was eventually rescued by a 40 million euro loan to Murcia from the central State, and, in theory, Murcia and Sacyr are about to sign a new contract to run the airport, if it ever opens. If the bond had been executed (and it was far overdue) the whole thing would have fallen into the hands of the banks, who don’t want to touch the thing with a bargepole.
However, the Murcian Minister for Industry, José Ballesta, has been asked if the collapse in the share value of Sacyr due to the Panama Canal fiasco could affect the contract.
“It won’t” he promised.
“What if the fall in the value of the company means they can’t raise a new bond to run the airport?” “Then yes, it will affect the deal” conceded Ballesta.
Because if Sacyr can’t raise a new massive bond to back the airport then Murcia won’t sign over the airport handling lease, because Murcia region needs to offload the bond due to Madrid laws.
But if Murcia doesn’t sign over the airport, there is no-one else interested, because Sacyr owns too much of the assets in the airport.
So….. Either Murcia keeps the airport handling contract (and the airport doesn’t open), or Sacyr finds the cash and takes it back, but still leaves Murcia with a massive debt to service. Either way, I reckon the taxpayers are stuffed.