Australia's MAp Group has reached an agreement to swap its assets in Brussels and Copenhagen airports with Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP) in a deal worth $1.7 billion.
MAp Airports will swap its stakes in Brussels and Copenhagen Airports with OTPP’s 11.02% interest in Sydney Airport and a $850 million in cash, to boost its holding in the Australian gateway.
In December 2010, MAp valued its combined 30.8% stake in Brussels Airport and 39% stake in Copenhagen Airport at $1.94 billion.
The airport operator has pressed ahead with the deal in order to focus on its key asset, Sydney Airport, and when the deal is completed MAp will own 85% of the gateway.
Kerrie Mather, CEO of MAp Airports, said, “The asset swap proposal represents a transformational transaction for MAp, resulting in both an increased investment in Sydney Airport and the repositioning of MAp with a sole focus on Sydney Airport. Investors will benefit from the airport’s predictable, resilient and growing earnings.”
At the moment, the stakes in Brussels and Copenhagen airports make up almost half of MAp’s portfolio.
When the deal is finalised, OTPP will end up with a 39% stake in Brussels Airport and a 30% stake in Copenhagen Airport, adding to its airport holdings in Birmingham and Bristol in Britain.
Stephen Dowd, senior vice-president of OTPP's Teachers' Infrastructure Group, said: "We believe that Brussels and Copenhagen Airports are excellent opportunities that strongly reflect our investment criteria and our long-term investment horizon.”
According to Reuters, the biggest block to MAp taking full control of Sydney airport is German construction group Hochtief, which is trying to sell its airport concessions as a whole, including a 12% stake in Sydney airport.