Feb 4, 2023
Russian Tycoon May Buy Germany’s Insolvent Hahn Airport
The insolvency administrator of Frankfurt-Hahn airport in western Germany said he’s secured different “sale variants” for the facility and concluded two purchase agreements with investors who are independent of each other.
The administrator’s comment comes amid reports of several interested parties for the insolvent airfield.
The agreements are subject to conditions “so that ultimately only one purchase agreement will be executed,” Jan Markus Plathner said in an emailed statement on Saturday. He added that a decision will be made on the further course of action at a special creditors’ meeting on Feb. 7.
Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported on Friday that the Russian owner of Germany’s legendary Nuerburgring motor racing track, pharmaceutical entrepreneur Viktor Kharitonin, was set to buy the airport through the company NR Holding, having signed a notarized contract for a purchase price of around €20 million ($21.6 million).
The money is in a so-called escrow account, the German news agency reported, without saying where it obtained the information. Kharitonin is not on any EU sanctions list for Russia, according to DPA.
NR Holding was outbid for the airport in 2022 by Frankfurt-based Swift Conjoy GmbH. Plathner said in the email that a purchase “was not completed by Swift Conjoy.”
NR Holding confirmed to DPA that it had signed a contract subject to certain conditions, specifically a creditors’ meeting of four Hahn sister companies scheduled for Tuesday at an insolvency court.
The rather remote airport — despite carrying “Frankfurt” in its official name it is about 120 km (75 miles) from Germany’s financial metropolis and about the same distance from Luxembourg — is a former US military base and the only major airport in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The airfield has no rail connections but has a rare and coveted night-flight permit. The German state of Hesse holds a 17.5% stake in it.
(Updates throughout with comments from insolvency administrator Jan Markus Plathner)
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