May 12, 2016 / 5:32 PM / in a year

UPDATE 1-At least six bids for Lyon airport, three for Nice - sources

(Adds two bidders for Lyon)

PARIS, May 12 (Reuters) - At least six offers have been submitted for France’s 60 percent stake in Lyon-Saint-Exupery airport along with three bids for a similar stake in Nice Cote d‘Azur airport, sources close to the matter told Reuters.

France kicked off the privatisation of both airports in March as part of plans to raise cash to help meet budget deficit targets. There will be a second round of bids ahead of a July 4 deadline to firm up the indicative offers selected.

Bidders are hoping to get a share of the growing returns from increased air traffic.

A consortium of French investment fund Meridiam and Spanish infrastructure firm Ferrovial bid for both airports as did a group made up of French construction company Vinci , insurer Predica and state-owned Caisse des Depots, the sources said.

French buyout group Ardian also placed an offer for both airports. It may link up with investment fund Siparex and Caisses d‘Epargne regionale for the Lyon airport.

Investment fund Cube Infrastructure together with Geneva airport also made an offer for Lyon, the sources said.

Turkish firm Limak Yatirim as well as Australian group Macquarie also bid for Lyon, other sources told Reuters.

Macquarie however did not bid for Nice, one of the sources said.

The economy ministry declined to comment on the bidders, who had until midday (1000 GMT) on Thursday to submit their offers.

Indicative offers were also expected from Changi Airports, which is the operator of Singapore airport, and from Canadian pension funds Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

According to the sources, German insurer Allianz together with Global Infrastructure Partners, may have bid for the Nice airport stake as could Italy’s Atlantia tying up with EDF Invest.

French airport operator Paris Aeroport has not bid for either airport, it has said. (Reporting by Mattieu Protard and Julien Ponthus, Gilles Guilhaume, writing by Dominique Vidalon; editing by Michel Rose, David Clarke and Alexandra Hudson)

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