German airport operator bides time on Greek airport takeover talks

German airport operator Fraport will have to wait between one and two months before continuing talks with Greece on its takeover of the crisis-hit country‘s 14 regional airports.

“We have certain signals that we will hold first talks with the Greek government in the next four to eight weeks,” Fraport chief executive Stefan Schulte told journalists in Frankfurt on Tuesday evening.

In November, Fraport secured operating concessions for the regional airports, together with a Greek partner. These included the airports in Thessaloniki and on the islands of Crete, Corfu and Rhodes.

Greece‘s left-leaning government under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, elected in January, is reexamining the privatization plans of its conservative predecessors and aims to re-negotiate the contracts.

The total value of the privatization contract at the time of November negotiations stood at 1.23 billion euros (1.33 billion dollars).

Fraport had been working on the assumption that the takeover would be completed by the start of 2016, but Schulte has now declined to comment on the outlook, preferring to wait for the outcome of the talks.

Fraport operates 11 airports around the world, although its Frankfurt airport in Germany is by far the largest. It recently took over running the airport of the Slovenian capital Ljubljana.