Failed payment could scuttle Frankfurt Hahn Airport deal

The interior minister for the federal state of Germany’s Rhineland Palatinate, Frankfurt Hahn Airport airport’s main owner, has admitted that the sale of the Frankfurt Hahn Airport is in jeopardy due to non-payment by the winning bidder from China, Reuters reported.

Speaking to Bild over the weekend, Rhineland Palatinate Minister President Malu Dreyer explained that the situation was complicated and that there were no “quick and easy answers.” Dreyer also admitted that “mistakes happened.”

However, it appears that the buyer, China’s Shanghai Yiqian Trading Company (SYT), only contacted Chinese authorities last Tuesday regarding authorization for the money transfer. “Talks in Shanghai seem to point towards a collapse of the sale to [China’s] SYT,” said Roger Lewentz, the interior minister for the federal state of Rhineland Palatinate. Lewentz added that no documents to seek permission for the money transfer had been filed.

The collapsing deal has given rise to criticism of local German government over the deal, with T-Online reporting that the prime minister would face a censure motion in Parliament by next Thursday.

Lewentz has called on auditor KPMG to carry out due diligence on SYT, and a state secretary has been dispatched to China to investigate the company.

Meanwhile, the local government is pushing ahead with privatization of the airport. According to Lewentz, talks have been restarted with two other unidentified bidders.

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