Chinese-led investor group wins auction for bankrupt Spanish airport

Updated: 2015-07-22 00:22

By Wang Mingjie(

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A Chinese-led consortium of investors has won an auction to buy the so-called ghost airport of Ciudad Real, 200 km south of Madrid, bidding 10,000 euros (7,000 pounds), which is 100,000 times less than its original building cost.

According to a spokeswoman for the local court in Ciudad Real that handled the auction, the bid came from a company called Tzaneen International, with investors from China, the UK and the USA.

The spokeswoman stressed it was not clear whether the airport would finally be sold to Tzaneen as the bid was significantly below the airport's estimated value of 40 million euros (7 million pounds).

The consortium was reported to be the sole bidder for the abandoned airport, and says it intends to develop the airfield into a logistic hub for Chinese companies into Europe.

Built in Castilla-La Mancha region of southern Spain during the building boom, and originally named Don Quixote Airport after the deluded figure of Spanish literature, the airport cost more than 1 billion euros (700,000 pounds) to build and was opened in 2008 as an alternative to Madrid Barajas airport.

Ciudad Real has never handled more than a handful of flights a week. It went bankrupt and closed in 2012 after just three years in operation.

It is still possible that another buyer could meet the minimum price of 28 million euros (19.6 million pounds) set by the receiver for the sale to go through before the end of September.

If the bid goes ahead, the company is prepared to invest more to acquire further land in the surrounding area, making the airport the European point of entry for cargo.

China is third on the list of countries for Spanish exports, after France and then Germany, according to Trading Economics website.

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