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Argentine Billionaire to Pass Baton to Nephew in Airport IPO

16:10, Thursday, 11 January, 2018
Argentine Billionaire to Pass Baton to Nephew in Airport IPO

When the bell sounds in New York later this month for the initial public offering of Eduardo Eurnekian’s airport business, the man ringing it will probably be his nephew Martin Eurnekian.

It will be more than a symbolic move. The share sale represents a key milestone in the Argentine mogul’s long and varied career, as he passes the baton of his billion-dollar business to his chosen successor.

“I am doing this IPO, but that doesn’t mean I’m in charge -- the one who manages the airports is my nephew,” Eduardo Eurnekian said during an interview in his Buenos Aires office. “I will oversee this deal this month, and my career in airports will be complete.”

Eurnekian’s closely held Corporacion America Airports SA, which owns concessions to operate 51 airports worldwide, is looking to sell as much as $750 million of shares between late January and February, spokeswoman Carolina Barros said Wednesday. It would be the first IPO by an Argentine company this year.

It will also mark the start of a new phase for Eurnekian, though the 85-year-old entrepreneur -- who says he still swims and practices yoga every day -- won’t be retiring out of sight. The son of Armenian immigrants who fled the genocide in the early 20th century said that handing over day-to-day operations will free him up to explore new areas of business.

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