Investors’ appetite for transport infrastructure remains undiminished

STARTING ON December 19th, as Gatwick airport prepared to disclose a change of ownership, suspected drone sightings forced it to close its runway for a total of 36 hours. Passengers were delayed; so was the announcement. Only a week later could Britain’s second-busiest hub reveal it had been sold to Vinci, a French transport group, in a deal valuing it at £8.3bn ($10.5bn). The previous owners, including Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), an American fund manager, will keep 49.99%.

The acquisition cements Vinci’s position as the world’s largest private airport-operator, with Gatwick the biggest of the 46 it runs. It is also a reminder of how fast the industry has been privatised: over 50% of European airports have some private participation, up from 22% in 2010. Nearly half of winning bidders since 2008 have been financial investors, according to Mergermarket, a research group. Returns have been juicy. GIP bought Gatwick for £1...

via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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