UK. Vinci Airports is to take a 50.01% stake in Gatwick Airport.
The deal was announced jointly announced this morning by Vinci Airports and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), which owns and runs London’s second-busiest gateway alongside a consortium of co-investors.
In the year ended 31 March 2018, Gatwick Airport Group reported total revenue of £764.2 million (US$967.5 million), with EBITDA of £411.2 million (US$520.6 million). After the closing, Vinci Airports will be able to fully consolidate the Gatwick Airport. The consideration payable for the 50.01% stake is approximately £2.9 billion (US$3.7 billion), subject to closing adjustments.
The transaction is expected to complete in the first half of 2019. The other 49.99% will be managed by GIP.
Vinci Airports is a top five global player in the international airport sector. It has a network of 46 airports in 12 countries, including France, Portugal, the UK, Sweden, Serbia, Cambodia, Japan, the USA, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Chile and Brazil. Its airports are served by more than 250 airlines, while its network will handle over 228 million passengers in 2018.
Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second-busiest airport and the eighth-busiest in Europe. It serves over 228 destinations in 74 countries and will handle a projected 46 million passengers this year on short and long-haul point-to-point services.
“The transaction represents a rare opportunity to acquire an airport of such size and quality and fits extremely well with Vinci Concessions’ long-term investment horizon,” Vinci Airports said. “Gatwick Airport is an outstanding asset with further growth potential. This acquisition represents a major strategic move by Vinci Airports into a strongly performing airport located in a globally significant aviation market. Gatwick will become the largest single airport in Vinci Airports’ growing worldwide network.”
Vinci noted that Gatwick is a freehold airport that offers further capacity development. Further opportunities exist to develop the commercial offering too, it said (Dufry-owned World Duty Free is the anchor travel retailer).
GIP will maintain its integral role in the management and ownership of the airport, the company said.
Vinci Concessions Chief Executive Officer and Vinci Airports President Nicolas Notebaert said: “Creating synergies and sharing best practices being at the core of our values, the whole Vinci Airports network will benefit from Gatwick Airport’s world-class management and operational excellence, which has allowed it to deliver strong and steady growth in a very constrained environment.
“As Gatwick’s new industrial partner, Vinci Airports will support and encourage growth of traffic, operational efficiency and leverage its international expertise in the development of commercial activities to further improve passenger satisfaction and experience.”
Gatwick Airport Chairman Sir David Higgins, said: “We very much welcome this commitment from Vince Airports to Gatwick which is a vote of confidence in Gatwick and its future potential.”
Gatwick Chief Executive, Stewart Wingate, said: “Our Chairman and I, along with our senior management team, will all remain at Gatwick and look forward to improving services further for our passengers. There will be no changes to the immediate running of Gatwick and we expect the transaction to complete by the middle of next year.
“This is good news for the airport as it will mean both continuity but also further investment for passengers over the coming years to improve our services further. We currently fly to over 220 destinations around the world and are ambitious to do even more in the years ahead.”