Global investment manager AMP Capital has agreed to acquire 49 per cent of London Luton Airport from Ardian on behalf of investors in its Global Infrastructure Equity strategy. 

London Luton Airport (London Luton) is the fifth-largest UK airport, serving 15.8 million passengers in 2017, and the fastest-growing airport in the high-demand London market. 

The airport is operated under a concession agreement with Luton Borough Council. The remaining 51 per cent of the concession¬ is owned by Spanish airports operator Aena SME, SA (Aena). 

London Luton is undergoing a transformational investment plan, on track for completion this year, which will increase passenger capacity and enhance the airport’s retail space, nearly doubling the footprint from 5,518 square metres to 10,905 square metres. 

Boe Pahari, Global Head of Infrastructure Equity at AMP Capital, said: “London Luton Airport is a high-quality capital city airport with significant further growth potential, catering for the high-volume London market, which makes it a compelling investment opportunity for our investors. 

“We consider the UK airport sector to be highly attractive as demand for travel and passenger numbers continue to grow. The location of London Luton Airport, 29 miles north of central London and easily accessible by road and rail, is particularly appealing given the appetite for travel to and from London, which is a global destination for business and leisure. 

“As experienced owners of airports we believe we can work with Aena to further develop London Luton’s performance, through supporting investment in the infrastructure and identifying opportunities for route development, as well as improving the passenger experience and the retail offering.”

AMP Capital acquired 100 per cent of Leeds Bradford Airport in November 2017 and is a long-standing investor in other airports including Newcastle Airport in the UK and Melbourne Airport in Australia. 

Mr Pahari added: “AMP Capital is a leading global infrastructure manager with more than 25 years’ experience. Our expertise in active asset management through our team of sector specialists has the potential to add significant value to our assets for the benefit of our investors, as well as fulfilling our duty to stakeholders through responsible ownership.” 

Mathias Burghardt, member of the Executive Committee of Ardian and Head of Infrastructure, said: “Over the last four years, working with our partner Aena, Ardian has helped transform London Luton Airport into one of the fastest growing airports in the UK. We are very proud of the growth and development we have helped create at the airport, which has only been possible thanks to the hard work of the employees at LLA and the other stakeholders involved. AMP Capital will be an excellent partner for LLA as the airport continues its growth ambitions, and we wish them all the best for the next stage of the expansion.”

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About AMP Capital
AMP Capital is a specialist global investment manager with US$146.8 billion in funds under management as of 31 December 2017 and more than 250 investment professionals.  AMP Capital has a heritage and strength in real estate and infrastructure, and specialist expertise in fixed income, equities and multi-asset solutions.  Its majority shareholder is AMP Limited, which was established in 1849, and is one of Australia's largest retail and corporate pension providers. AMP Capital has a strategic alliance with Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation, which is also a shareholder.