NEWS Last modified on December 28, 2018

VINCI Airports to take controlling stake in London's Gatwick Airport

Global airport operator, VINCI Airports, is to add to its fast expanding portfolio by paying £2.9 billion to take a controlling 50.01% stake in London's Gatwick Airport.

The deal, announced as a 'new partnership' by current owner Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and expected to be ratified by the middle of 2019, means that VINCI now has a network of 46 airports in 12 countries.

There are no plans to change the airport's management team, so chief excutive, Stewart Wingate, will stay on and lead the UK gateway, which hit the headlines just before Christmas after multiple drone sightings forced its closure to traffic for 36 hours.

Commenting on VINCI Airports deal, Gatwick chairman, Sir David Higgins, said: “We very much welcome this commitment from VINCI Airports to Gatwick which is a vote of confidence in Gatwick and its future potential.”
Gat tower
While Wingate noted: “Our Chairman and I, along with our senior management team, will all remain at Gatwick and look forward to improving services further for our passengers. 

"There will be no changes to the immediate running of Gatwick and we expect the transaction to complete by the middle of next year.

“This is good news for the airport as it will mean both continuity but also further investment for passengers over the coming years to improve our services further. We currently fly to over 220 destinations around the world and are ambitious to do even more in the years ahead.

“Now we are through the recent disruption at the airport and services are fully back to normal I would once again like to express my thanks to passengers for their patience during this challenging period.

“I would also like to thank all those who have supported my teams in getting Gatwick back up and running, particularly our airlines, the police, the armed forces, other airports, the CAA and the Department for Transport.
Gatwick aerial2
“I know this unprecedented criminal activity caused huge inconvenience to thousands of people - many of whom missed important family events in the run up to Christmas.

"We have appreciated the understanding and tolerance shown at what was a really challenging time for everyone, and we are grateful that passengers recognised that we should never do anything that might jeopardise their safety.

“There are obviously wider strategic lessons for everyone involved to prevent it happening again, and Gatwick itself has taken a number of important steps in recent days which will make a significant difference to the airport’s resilience. 

“While the announcement marks an exciting moment in Gatwick’s future, my team and I remain focused on doing everything we can to help ensure that travel runs as smoothly as possible for everyone over the rest of the festive period.”
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VINCI Airports said: "Opportunities to buy an airport of the quality and size of London Gatwick are extremely rare. This transaction is perfectly in line with VINCI Concessions' long-term investment strategy. Gatwick Airport is an outstanding asset with significant growth potential. 

"This acquisition represents a strategic position for VINCI Airports in a high-performance airport located in a world-class aerospace market. 

"Gatwick becomes the largest airport in the VINCI Airports global network, which is now expanding rapidly."

CEO, Nicolas Notebaert, added: "The creation of synergies and the sharing of best practices included in our core values, the entire VINCI Airports network will benefit from the world-renowned management and operational excellence of Gatwick Airport, which has continued its growth despite a very constrained environment. 

"As a new industrial partner, VINCI Airports will support and encourage operational efficiency and traffic growth, while leveraging its business development expertise to continue to improve passenger satisfaction and experience. "

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