Manchester Airports Group completes its acquisition of Stansted Airport

Stansted Airport

Stansted Airport - Credit: Archant

THE sale of Stansted Airport to the Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has been confirmed today (February 28).

Heathrow Airport Holdings selected MAG from four bidders after it was told by the Competition Commission that it had to sell Stansted. As part of the £1.5 billion transaction, investment group Industry Funds Management has taken a 35.5 per cent interest in the enlarged group.

MAG, owned by 10 Greater Manchester councils, is the largest UK-owned airport operator. It also owns Manchester, East Midlands and Bournemouth airports.

MAG insists its integration plan will bring about a smooth and seamless transition that will not affect the business of passengers and customers at the Essex hub.

Charlie Cornish, chief executive of MAG, said: “We’re delighted to have added Stansted to our strong portfolio of UK airports.

“We aim to help fulfil its potential in the London market and bring more choice to its passengers in the years ahead.

“Today represents the achievement of a major strategic ambition for MAG and we look forward to working alongside staff, partners and stakeholders in ensuring the Group’s success.”

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The funds for the deal came from new equity raised from IFM, together with investment grade financing. All the existing shareholders’ equity has been maintained in the group.

Christian Seymour, head of infrastructure, Europe, at IFM, said: “This is a landmark acquisition for IFM, deepening our footprint in the UK, and is the culmination of 18 months’ work developing a strong, long term partnership with MAG.

“We look forward to bringing our significant international expertise in the airport sector to the benefit of the group.”