Canada just bought half of Puerto Rico’s main airport

Puerto Rico's governor just recently approved turning over the operations of the largest airport in Puerto Rico to a private company as part of an estimated $2.6 billion deal that began under the predecessor and has been fiercely protested by Puerto Ricans. This has opened up an opportunity for Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board to buy 50 percent of the company that operates Puerto Rico’s main airport in San Juan at an auction. NY Post just recently made light of the plan to acquire the airport stake from Oaktree Capital, which is a hedge fund run by billionaire Howard Marks, who has managed the Puerto Rican investment amid a financial crisis in the country that has crippled the Caribbean island’s economy. Traffic at the island airport is not what the had hoped it would be, with one reason being the threat of the Zika virus which is making a dent in the tourist economy. Also, San Juan is being edged out by Miami’s busy airport as the go-to hub for travelers to that region of the world.

And while the island country is getting paired with an operating partner it doesn’t know; Oaktree Capital may still have gotten its desired return as it improved the concessions area and cut costs at the airport, including what they pay for air conditioning. Oaktree Capital had acquired the management stake of the airport back in 2014 when it bought AIG’s Highstar Capital. The Mexican airport operator Aeroportuario del Sureste owns the other half of the Puerto Rican airport and jointly operates it. AIG and its Mexican partner in 2012 paid $615 million to the cash-strapped Puerto Rico Ports Authority for a 40-year airport concession, while agreeing to share the revenue and invest an additional $1.4 billion into the airport over the course of the lease. San Juan’s passenger boardings from 2011 to year end 2015 have risen by five percent, while Miami’s airport have risen 15 percent. San Juan’s Luis Muñoz International is the only airport in North America that is completely run by a private operator. New York’s LaGuardia International Airport in 2016 turned to private operators to help build and manage a terminal. More airport privatizations may be coming along if President Trump succeeds in implementing his infrastructure plans.

Puerto Rico is an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and some smaller islands to include Mona, Vieques, and Culebra. The capital and most populous city of Puerto Rico is San Juan. The official languages of the island country are Spanish and English, though Spanish is the dominate language. The population of Puerto Rico is approximately 3.4 million. Puerto Rico's has a rich history, a tropical climate, and diverse natural scenery. Puerto Rico is renowned for its traditional cuisine, and attractive tax incentives that make it a popular destination for travelers from around the world. Puerto Rico was originally populated by the indigenous Taíno people when the island was claimed in 1493 by Christopher Columbus for the Crown of Castile. The island later endured invasion attempts from the French, British and Dutch. Four centuries of Spanish colonial government transformed the island's cultural, ethnic, and physical landscapes primarily with waves of African captives, and Andalusian and Canarian settlers. Puerto Ricans are natural-born citizens of the United States. However, people from Puerto Rico do not have a vote in the United States Congress,

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