The market was surprised by the prices offered by the airport concessions bid on this Wednesday (7) and sees the result of the competition as a good indicator of interest for the next round of auctions in the sector, in which the government will offer Congonhas airports. , in São Paulo, and Santos Dumont, in Rio de Janeiro.
The seventh round of Anac (National Civil Aviation Agency) concession auctions is scheduled for 2021 and should have, in addition to the two facilities considered “crown jewels”, 14 other smaller airports, maintaining the strategy of offering the opportunities in blocks.
“I see this result as a vote of confidence in the country and in the government’s ability to react,” says concession lawyer Letícia Queiroz, partner at Queiroz, Maluf Sociedade de Advogados. “In the airline industry, the government has done well and the response to the pandemic has been very rapid.”
The sector was one of the most affected by restrictions on the movement of people after the beginning of the pandemic, but the opening of Anac to renegotiate contract conditions in the face of the new reality is seen as a sign of regulatory maturity.
This first airport auction after the pandemic was helped by changes promoted by the government in 2020, with the reduction of concession prices and the permission to form consortia without an airport operator, which expanded the range of eligible companies.
In the evaluation of the market, the changes allowed the participation of a larger number of Brazilian companies, increasing competition at a time of crisis between the world giants of the sector and of increased risk perception in relation to Brazil.
The South block, for example, received a proposal for an infrastructure fund from the bank Pátria. The manager XP also formed a consortium with Socicam Infraestrutura e Participações to try to dispute the Central block.
Among foreign operators, the Spanish Aena, Corporación América Airport, based in Luxembourg, and the French ADP and Vinci, the latter winner of the competition for the North block, participated.
CCR’s aggressiveness, which kept the other two blocks paying high premiums, generated surprise. “CCR’s appetite surprised me a lot, but I understand that they need to generate new assets for the shareholder,” says lawyer Caio Loureiro, of Miscione Advogados.
“It was a more restrictive environment, with greater risk. And it is natural that more aggressive proposals came from companies that are in the country, who know a little more about the scenario and have more confidence to take risks”, adds Queiroz.
For agents in the financial market, although CCR’s acquisitions were considered important for the company – mainly in view of the potential and quality of assets – there was also the perception that the operator paid dearly for the two airport blocks.
CCR’s shares, which rose by close to 2% in the morning on Wednesday, while the auction was taking place, reversed the signal in the early afternoon and ended in a fall of 1.59%, quoted at R $ 12.99.
According to analysts, there was discomfort in the market in relation to the price that was paid for the assets – which is usually measured by the percentage of goodwill.
“The premium was higher than expected and many people ended up considering that CCR’s proposal was very aggressive. It seems that, throughout the day, the market ended up digesting these values better in relation to what was acquired ”, said Guide Investimentos analyst, Henrique Esteter.
For Clear Corretora’s business analyst, Pietra Guerra, there was also a movement to realize very short-term profits.
“Anyone who had CCR shares was already expecting the auction and was already considering part of the profit after the event to put the money in their pocket. This also ends up weighing ”, he said.
After the auction, the expectation of the sector is that the dispute for the next round will be fierce, with the presence of large global operators. In October, the Ministry of Infrastructure opened a process to contract studies for the offer.
The batch of 17 airports will be divided into three blocks: Norte 2, with six facilities in Pará; RJ-MG, with Santos Dumont Airport and four other facilities in both states; and SP-MS block, with Congonhas and four other facilities, including the capital of Mato Grosso do Sul.
In an interview after the auction, the Minister of Infrastructure, Tarcísio Gomes, said that the government left Congonhas and Santos Dumont for new companies to take advantage of this Wednesday’s round to position themselves in the Brazilian market in preparation for the two assets, which are considered the best from the list.
“As vaccination takes shape and the world overcomes the pandemic issue, we will also see a recovery in the issue of civil aviation,” he said.