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Midway privatization plan could attract 16 bidders

Sixteen bidding teams have expressed interest in vying for the chance to privatize Midway Airport, city officials said Friday.

City Chief Financial Officer Lois Scott called the response to the city’s request for qualifications “encouraging,” but also cautioned that Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to make sure any such deal is “a win for Chicagoans.”

The city will use responses to identify qualified potential bidders for a second-round competition, based on price and other elements. Guidelines set so far by Emanuel include a requirement that any Midway lease would be less than 40 years -- not the controversial 75-year term given the company that is leasing the city’s parking meters.

Among the partners in the Midway bidding teams was a division of Macquarie, which was part of a Spanish-Australian consortium that won a 99-year lease of the Chicago Skyway.

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