APAC: China’s Fosun eyes European airport acquisition 

02 March 2018 - 12:00 am UTC

China’s Fosun Goup is looking for opportunities to invest in mature airports in Europe, in its attempt to build its overseas infrastructure business.

The finance-to-property conglomerate would prefer to acquire majority stakes in assets located in developed markets like Europe where there are fewer political and economic risks along with stable return prospects, a source told Inframation.

A typical target that Fosun might be keen on pursuing is Edinburgh Airport according to the source.

A Fosun spokesperson declined to comment, adding that the company has been constantly seeking investment opportunities in line with its strategy to enhance people’s wealth, health and happiness. 

Fosun has set its sights on airport assets partly in the hope of benefiting from China’s outbound tourism boom according to the source.

Yet it also acknowledged that airport and port acquisitions by Chinese buyers are likely to encounter substantial regulatory hurdles because these assets may trigger national security concerns in host countries.

In addition to airports, the company might consider investments in car parks, ports, airports, hospitals, senior home, and renewable energy assets in Asian countries along the Belt and Road, with a focus on Hong Kong and Macau. 

“The company is also looking at Southeast Asian markets like Vietnam, but there are concerns about lingering business risks,” the source explained. “Europe and other developed markets are better in the sense that Fosun has already accumulated much M&A experience there.” 

Over the past decade, Fosun has acquired a number of European businesses. These include: French resort operator Club Med; Portugal’s largest listed bank Banco Comercial Portugues; German private bank Hauck & Aufhäuser; and London’s Thomas More Square office complex.

Its portfolio spans banking, insurance to tourism and healthcare but it has yet to make a blockbuster infrastructure deal overseas.