French infrastructure giant Vinci has bought just over half of London Gatwick Airport for £2.9bn.
A division of the firm, called Vinci Airports, is buying a 50.01% shareholding in Gatwick, with the sale to be completed in the first half of 2019. The share has been sold to Vinci by New York-based fund managers Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), which also owns Edinburgh Airport and half of the Hornsea One wind farm. GIP will own the remainder of the airport.
Vinci described Gatwick as an “outstanding asset with further growth potential”.
Vinci Concessions chief executive and president of Vinci Airports, 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 chief executive Stewart Wingate said there would be no immediate change to the airport’s management. He said: “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.”
In October, Gatwick Airport unveiled a new draft masterplan which outlines how it intends to increase its capacity into the early 2030s.
The plan outlines three scenarios under which the airport can expand going forward. Plans under the draft include using new technology to boost capacity on the main runway, starting to routinely use the existing emergency runway, and safeguarding an additional runway for the future.
Like what you’ve read? To receive New Civil Engineer’s daily and weekly newsletters click here.