A consortium of investors, which includes Kuwait Investment Authority’s Wren House Infrastructure Management, have agreed a deal to buy London City Airport for a record $2.8 billion.
The Canary Wharf airport, a favourite among executives for its convenient location near London's two financial districts, was put up for sale last summer by private equity firm Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).
The price paid is reported to be about 32 times London City’s annual underlying profits, setting a record for an airport, according to the Times. GIP bought the airport for a reported $1bn in 2006 but in the ten years since then passenger numbers have doubled to 4.3 million in 2015, an 18% increase on the previous year.
The group of investors, led by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, also includes Borealis Infrastructure and Canadian fund Alberta Investment Management Corp, beat off competition from rivals bidders, including a Asia’s richest man Li Ka-Shing and Chinese conglomerate HNA.
The consortium, which already owns other European airports, including Belfast International, Birmingham, Bristol, Brussels and Copenhagen, said in a statement that it was "committed to the responsible, long-term ownership and development of London City Airport to ensure its continued strong position and reputation as a key airport for London”.
The statement added: "Working together with management and local authorities, the consortium will support the enhancement of facilities and build on the airport's successful track record. As part of its investment, over the long-term, the consortium is dedicated to developing existing and new airline relationships and routes, improving the airport's already excellent customer service, and generating opportunities for new and existing employees."
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