SAO PAULO, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- The Brazilian government raised $9.1 billion by privatizing the country's two major airports Friday, officials said.
A consortium led by the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht and Singapore airport operator Changi paid $8.3 billion for the rights to operate Rio de Janeiro's Galeao airport for 25 years, while a consortium lead by Brazilian highways operator CCR and Swiss airport operator Swiss Flughafen paid $795 million to run Confins International Airport near Santa Barbara, The New York Times reported Thursday.
As part of their contracts, the two groups must invest billions in improvement. They assume control of the airports in March, just ahead of the June 2014 World Cup, officials said.
The two airports combined are responsible for 14 percent of air passenger traffic in Brazil.
The Times said officials indicated the money raised will help reduce the budget deficit for this year.
President Dilma Rousseff haled the auction results, calling them "better than expected."
"This shows the immense interest that international investors have in Brazil," she said.