London Luton Airport is reportedly to be sold says its Spanish owners. The airport does not come cheap though, with a price tag of €572.8 million.
The airport has been controlled by Abertis since 2005 having bought 90 percent of TBI, the British operator, but has agreed to sell to a group led by Spain’s airport operator Aena, who by chance already has a ten per cent stake in the operation. Aena chairman Jose Manuel Vargas has reportedly said he wants to “substantially build up Luton in consultation with all its stakeholders”.
However, the airport and Luton council, who in fact owns the land have not yet commented. The airport is the UK’s fifth biggest and on average deals with around 11.5 million passengers a year. In January 2012, announcements for expansions plans were made so that 18 million more passengers a year could pass through.
The new agreement will mean that Aena will have a 51 per cent stake in the airport with AXA Private Equity holding the remaining 49 per cent.
By contracting Luton authority Borough Council and the Spanish Board of Ministers, the sale is subject to clearance by competition authorities.
Abertis released a statement saying that the deal was part of a strategy whereby they were trying to “continually revise their portfolio in order to optimise the company’s asset base”.
Belfast International Airport and Sweden’s Stockholm Skavsta Airport have also been agreed to be sold to US operator ADC and HAS Airports Worldwide respectively for €326.9 million.
Cardiff Airport was also sold to the Welsh Assembly last March.
After this Luton deal goes through, their only remaining airport business now is Grupo Aeropuertuario del Pacifico in Mexico and Montego Bay in Jamaica which again are both for sale.