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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Meinl Seeks $670M in April IPO

VIENNA -- Meinl Bank, a family-owned Austrian bank founded in 1923, said an airport-investment unit it founded in 2006 plans a 500 million euro ($666.7 million) initial public offering to fund acquisitions.

Meinl Airports International plans to sell as many as 49.9 million new shares for 10 euros each from April 11 to April 27 and plans to list the stock in Vienna starting April 30, the company said Thursday. Meinl Airports may also sell as many as 99,999 existing shares held by Meinl Bank, which is managing the sale.

The company plans to buy and operate airports in Eastern Europe and Russia, where air traffic is growing as expanding economies in the region encourage more travel. Meinl Airports aims to focus on renting out property and developing facilities such as airport hotels, office space and public parking garages.

"Air travel has the same great potential as mobile telephony because it connects people," Meinl Bank chairman Julius Meinl said Thursday. "The investments have a longer return period, but this is offset by the somewhat monopolistic character of airports."

The company expects to complete its first acquisition "by the end of 2007," said Roman Himmler, a board member at Meinl Airports.

Capital raised in the IPO will be enough for the first major acquisition and will leave spare funds for enrollment to other potential airport sales in Central and Eastern Europe, Himmler said.