Trudeau Pours Cold Water on Canadian Airport Sales Prospects

Originally published: April 20, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he’s more interested in attracting outside capital through his proposed infrastructure bank than selling off the nation’s airports to fund the construction of new roads, hospitals, and other projects.

"The fact is that’s always one of the easy, quick things people jump to," Trudeau said in an interview with Bloomberg News in Toronto, when asked about the prospect of privatizing the nation’s airports. "I’m interested in other things than that."

The Trudeau government said in September it had hired Credit Suisse Group AG to look at the benefits of privatizing the country’s eight largest airports, including in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and elsewhere. It has yet to make the findings of the report public.

Several big investors -- from Canadian pension funds to Brookfield Asset Management Inc. -- have said they would prefer to buy mature assets than fund the development of new infrastructure projects. Sam Pollock, the head of Brookfield’s infrastructure group, said in an interview last month there would be a "feeding frenzy" if the airports went up for sale.

Trudeau appeared to throw cold water on the prospect.

"I’m interested in actually drawing in fresh capital to build new things," he said.

Read the rest at Bloomberg News.