Linklaters advises on acquisition of London City Airport

Linklaters has advised a consortium comprising Alberta Investment Management Corporation, Borealis Infrastructure,  Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and Wren House Infrastructure on the acquisition of London City Airport from the current owners, US private equity firm Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and Highstar Capital.

The Consortium consists of international infrastructure investors, all with proven track records, which will bring significant financial and operational expertise to London City Airport. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.  

The consortium’s bid included a ‘certain funds’ commitment from a club of 13 lenders and Linklaters’ role included supporting the consortium to deliver the financing and associated loan hedging in advance of the final bid date. Linklaters also advised on the complex property and planning arrangements applicable to the airport, including in relation to the existing planning application in respect of the airport’s proposed development programme.

The airport, located about 6 miles (10 kilometres) from London’s financial district and opened in 1987, was acquired by GIP and Oaktree in 2006.  Its preferential location and broad range of connections to Europe and North America has seen passenger numbers grow significantly over the past decade from approximately 2m in 2005 to more than 4m in 2015. 

The deal adds to the $22.7 billion of airport-related acquisitions over the past 12 months.*

Ian Andrews, Infrastructure partner, at Linklaters, says: “This is a significant deal for the market and generated huge amounts of interest. The sale process was exceptionally competitive and an impressive success for the Consortium.”

The Linklaters team was led by Infrastructure partner Ian Andrews and Planning Law partner David Watkins. The team also included managing associate Ross Schloeffel.

Linklaters has advised on a large number of significant airport acquisitions in Europe in recent years, including advising PSP on the €1.1bn acquisition of all the shares in Hochtief Airport, IFM Investors on its acquisition of Manchester Airports Group (MAG) and MAG’s subsequent acquisition of London Stanstead Airport.  

For more information, contact Surinder Sian on 0207 456 4842.

* Bloomberg analysis.