AMP Capital announced today (April 24) that it has agreed to acquire 49% of London Luton Airport from Ardian as it seeks to take advantage of the growing number of passengers.
The acquisition, which was completed on behalf of investors as part of its Global Infrastructure Equity strategy, means the global investment manager is adding to its growing portfolio of airports with the addition of the fifth largest airport in the United Kingdom, which served 15.8 million passengers in 2017, and is the fastest growing airport in the highly demanded London market. AMP Capital already owns Leeds Bradford Airport and is a long-time investor in other airports including Newcastle and Melbourne Australian Airport.
London Luton Airport is operated under a concession agreement with Luton City Council. The remaining 51% of the concession belongs to the Spanish airport operator Aena.
Boe Pahari, Global Head of Infrastructure Equity at AMP Capital, said: “London Luton Airport is a high quality capital airport with significant additional growth potential, catering to the high volume London market. which makes it a compelling investment opportunity for our investors. We consider the UK airport sector to be very attractive as the demand for travel and the number of passengers continue to grow. The location of London Luton Airport, 47 km north of central London and easily accessible by road and rail, is particularly appealing given the appetite for travel to and from London, which is a global destination for business and leisure.
The airport is reportedly undergoing a “transformation investment plan”, which is expected to be completed later this year and will increase passenger capacity and improve the airport’s commercial space, nearly doubling the footprint of 5,518 square meters to 10,905 square meters.
Mr. Pahari added, “AMP Capital is a leading global infrastructure manager with over 25 years of experience. Our expertise in active asset management through our team of industry specialists has the potential to add significant value to our assets for the benefit of our investors, as well as fulfilling our duty to stakeholders through responsible ownership. . ”
Commenting on the sale of Ardian, Mathias Burghardt, Ardian Executive Board Member and Head of Infrastructure, said: “Over the past four years, together with our partner Aena, Ardian has helped transform London Airport Luton into one of Britain’s fastest growing airports. We are very proud of the growth and development we have helped create at the airport, which has only been possible through the hard work of LLA employees and other stakeholders involved.