LONDON – Vinci Airports, part of infrastructure group Vinci, will buy a controlling 50.01% of the UK’s second-busiest airport, Gatwick.
Vinci Airports is taking this stake at £2.9 billion. The deal was inked on Thursday December 27.
According to The Guardian, a consortium led by the US investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) is selling a majority stake of 50.01% in the airport to Vinci Airports, one of the world’s top airport operators and part of the infrastructure group Vinci. Vinci and GIP will manage Gatwick Airport together.
The development comes just a week after the airport was closed after a series of drone sightings in what is thought to be the most disruptive incident in air travel in recent times. Flights were grounded and about 140,000 passengers affected over three days during the incident.
According to the deal, the remaining 49.99% stake of the airport will be managed by its current owners GIP.
Gatwick will be the largest in Vinci’s portfolio of 46 airports spread across 12 countries. The French group’s network includes Lyon-Saint-Exupéry airport, Nantes Atlantique and Grenoble Alpes Isère in France; Lisbon and Porto in Portugal, Funchal in Madeira, and Osaka Itami and Kansai International in Japan.
The paper reported that Gatwick’s chair, Sir David Higgins, said the deal was a “vote of confidence in Gatwick and its future potential”.
Gatwick is the eighth-busiest airport in Europe by passenger numbers. It employs about 3,000 people and the deal is not expected to have any impact on jobs.