Eduardo Eurnekian plans New York share sale next year

Argentinean Armenian businessman Eduardo Eurnekian is preparing to sell shares for the first time in New York as Argentina’s second-richest family expands its global conglomerate spanning airports to semiconductors, Bloomberg reports.

Eurnekian’s Corporacion America is studying the structure of assets to be marketed in initial public offerings next year and will open a New York office by March, the 81-year-old billionaire said in an interview from his offices in Buenos Aires.

“A first stage is opening to the market and showing the company’s will to grow,” he said. “It’s not a cash-out situation.”

Eurnekian, whose Armenian immigrant parents owned a textile business, introduced cable television to Argentina through Cablevision SA and founded television networks including America TV. Today, Corporacion America is the world’s largest private airport operator by number of licenses with more than 50 and about $2 billion in annual sales.

Most recently, the company won bids to operate the Pisa and Florence airports in Italy and is bidding for as many as 21 airports in Greece as the country accelerates a privatization process to recover from its economic crisis. The company said April 25 that it won bidding to build and operate a new airport to service Cuzco and Machu Picchu in Peru.

Eurnekian will wait for “the right moment” to decide the size of equity to be sold on the stock exchange, while keeping control of the ventures, he said.

The group “will obviously have to adapt” to regulations as an international publicly traded entity, he said. Eurnekian declined to give a valuation for Corporacion America, saying he doesn’t think about how much his assets are worth.

“It may be worth $15 billion, or $20 billion or $40 billion, I don’t know,” he said. “When you work all day you don’t think about valuations.”

Eurnekian, who was born in Argentina, has invested heavily in his ancestral home of Armenia, running the main airport, postal service, a bank and vineyards.

In Argentina, he sees considerable potential in energy and said his newly acquired Cia. General de Combustible will seek partners with oil and gas concessions to form ventures and to exploit wind energy potential in Patagonia.

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