Vinci Airports, a subsidiary of French construction firm Vinci, has announced that it takes control of a majority stake in Gatwick airport in London for approximately 2,900 million pounds (around 3,223 million euros at today's exchange rate). The company, As reported in a statement, it buys 50.01% of the shares, while the other half is in the hands of Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), which until now shared the property with funds from Abu Dabhi and Australia, among others. Vinci expects the transaction to be completed by the first half of 2019.
"The opportunities to buy an airport of the quality and size of London Gatwick are extremely rare.This transaction is perfectly in line with the long-term investment strategy of Vinci Concessions.The Gatwick Airport is an outstanding asset with significant potential of growth ", the company highlighted. Until 2009, this airport was in the hands of BAA, a subsidiary of Spain's Ferrovial. The GIP fund, together with other investors, then took control. Until the purchase of Vinci, he kept the property shared with funds from Abu Dhabi, Australia, California and South Korea.
Vinci's subsidiary for concessions operates more than 40 airports in France, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Cambodia, Japan, the United States, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Chile and Brazil. Remember that Gatwick becomes the largest airport in its network, and that the airport in the last fiscal year (until March 2018), recorded a turnover of 764.2 million pounds (about 850 million euros).
Gatwick is the second largest airport in the United Kingdom, behind Heathrow, also in London. It is located in South London and receives about 46 million passengers a year, using its connections to 228 destinations in 74 countries. "He maintains very close relationships with several of the major airlines, including EasyJet and British Airways, and has established new links with companies such as China Eastern," recalls Vinci. It also highlights that one of the Gatwick tracks is the busiest in the world: in 2017 it broke the record by hosting 950 movements in a single day.
Last week the airport became relevant due to an unfortunate incident: the flight of drones without authorization put the managers in check, which were forced to close several hours during two days of operations, which affected thousands of passengers. Remotely manned aircraft invaded the runways and for safety, flights had to be canceled. Even the intervention of the army was necessary.