[BRASILIA] Singapore Changi Airport is seeking a new partner for its investment in Rio de Janeiro's international airport, Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico said on Tuesday, as the current stakeholders struggle to get access to state funding from local development bank BNDES.
Valor, citing unnamed sources, said Changi held preliminary talks with potential investors last week. Changi partnered up with Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht SA in 2013 for the rights to expand and operate Rio's Galeão airport.
Changi and Odebrecht paid 19.018 billion reais (S$8 billion) for the concession, nearly four times the minimum bid, and were required to invest about 5.7 billion reais over 25 years to revamp the airport, the main entry point for the 2016 Olympic host.
Valor said BNDES has declined credit to Galeão because of charges against Odebrecht in the sweeping corruption probe that has rocked Brazilian politics and businesses over the past two years.
Odebrecht, Latin America's largest engineering group, is among 31 builders that allegedly colluded to rig contracts at state-run oil firm Petrobras. More than 100 people, including Odebrecht former head Marcelo Bahia Odebrecht, have been sentenced on corruption charges linked to kickback schemes.
Representatives at Galeão, Odebrecht and Changi did not reply to emails requesting comment.