Vinci says $820 million used to buy Mexico airport stake, not renovation as governor claimed

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – France’s Vinci on Tuesday clarified that it was not currently investing $820 million in renovating a key Mexican airport, saying that the figure cited by a local government was in fact the price of a major stake purchase, after debt.

A spokesperson for the French construction and concessions firm told Reuters that after agreeing to buy Fintech Advisory’s 29.99% stake in Mexican airport operator OMA for $1.17 billion, Fintech had used $350 million to pay back debts.

“The nature of this flow is indeed the acquisition of a part of the shares of OMA, and not investments planned in the airports OMA manages,” Vinci said in an email.

The governor of Mexico’s northern state of Nuevo Leon, Samuel Garcia, said on Monday following a meeting with Vinci’s chief executive that $820 million would go towards renovating the key Monterrey airport.

OMA confirmed that the sum was related to the finalization of the stake acquisition, adding that it was in the process of expanding and renovating the major international airport.

The Nuevo Leon press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

(Reporting by Sarah Morland and Kylie Madry; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)