Canadian-Kuwaiti consortium buys London City Airport

26th February 2016, Comments 0 comments

London City Airport, the closest air hub to the financial capital of Europe, is to be bought by a consortium of Canadian and Kuwaiti investors, the future owners said on Friday.

The sale was announced by the Alberta Investment Management Corporation, Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), and Wren House, an arm of the Kuwait Investment Authority.

The value of the sale by the airport's current owner, American fund Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), was not disclosed.

Bloomberg News reported a sum of around 2.0 billion pounds (2.5 billion euros, $2.8 billion), quoting sources close to the sale.

They indicated that the consortium's winning offer beat a competing joint bid by Chinese investors HNA and Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings.

City is dwarfed by London's main air hubs at Heathrow and Gatwick, but as the closest airport to the city centre it offers rapid access to the business districts of Canary Wharf (15 minutes) and the City of London (22 minutes).

It mostly serves European routes, although flights also run to New York. Increased traffic by business passengers pushed traveller numbers up to 4.3 million last year, up 18 percent from 2014.

But its development plans, which include the construction of a new taxiway for aircraft, were vetoed last year by London mayor Boris Johnson.

The project aimed to raise the hub's capacity to 6.5 million passengers a year by 2023.

GIP also owns London Gatwick and Edinburgh Airport in Scotland, which are not involved in the sale.

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© 2016 AFP

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