Global investment manager AMP Capital takes 49% stake in London Luton Airport

AMP Capital has today (24 April) announced it has agreed to acquire 49% of London Luton Airport from Ardian as it looks to take advantage of growing passenger numbers.

The acquisition which was made on behalf of investors in its Global Infrastructure Equity strategy, means the global investment manager adds to its growing portfolio of airports with the addition of the UK’s fifth-largest airport, which served 15.8 million passengers in 2017, and is the fastest-growing airport in the high-demand London market. AMP Capital already owns Leeds Bradford Airport and is a longstanding investor in other airports including Newcastle and Australia's Melbourne Airport.

London Luton Airport is operated under a concession agreement with Luton Borough Council. The remaining 51% of the concession is owned by Spanish airports operator Aena.

Boe Pahari, global head of infrastructure equity at AMP Capital, said: “London Luton Airport is a high-quality capital city airport with significant further growth potential, catering for the high-volume London market, which makes it a compelling investment opportunity for our investors.  We consider the UK airport sector to be highly attractive as demand for travel and passenger numbers continue to grow. The location of London Luton Airport, 29 miles 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 said to be undergoing a “transformational investment plan”, which is on track for completion later this year and will increase passenger capacity and enhance the airport’s retail space, nearly doubling the footprint from 5,518 square metres to 10,905 square metres.

Mr Pahari added: “AMP Capital is a leading global infrastructure manager with more than 25 years’ experience. Our expertise in active asset management through our team of sector 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 Ardian’s sale, Mathias Burghardt, member of the executive committee of Ardian and head of infrastructure, said: “Over the last four years, working with our partner Aena, Ardian has helped transform London Luton Airport into one of the fastest growing airports in the UK. We are very proud of the growth and development we have helped create at the airport, which has only been possible thanks to the hard work of the employees at LLA and the other stakeholders involved.”

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