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Selling off Canada’s airports no panacea to resolving high costs Add to ...

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Selling off Canada’s largest airports is an alluring idea.

They’re worth billions of dollars and there is considerable investor interest in acquiring them.

Airports around the world typically sell for 10 to 20 times earnings (before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization). A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests the federal government could pocket as much as $33-billion if it sold the country’s eight largest airports outright – money it could plow back into other badly needed infrastructure projects. Toronto’s Pearson airport, Canada’s busiest, could fetch up to $13-billion.

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