LONDON — French investment company Ardian has sold their 49% stake in London Luton Airport to Australian investment firm AMP Capital. This means that AMP Capital will work alongside Aena, the majority stakeholder in the airport, who with Ardian had invested £160 million into the airport since 2013.
Due to the heavy investment that has taken place, it has attracted interest from airlines and passengers in the area, with passenger numbers growing from 9.7 million in 2013 to 15.8 million in 2017.
Ardian managing director Andrew Liau said: “This success has been made possible by the hard work of everyone involved with LLA, including the employees, our industrial partner Aena, and an extended list of important stakeholders. AMP Capital will be an excellent partner for them and LLA as the airport continues its growth ambitions.”
The £160 million investment has consisted of a transformation programme which has nearly been completed. This program features a redesign of the terminal and major upgrades to the transport links around the London Luton area.
— London Luton Airport (@LDNLutonAirport) May 5, 2018
Airport chief executive Nick Barton said: “Since their investment in 2013 the Aena and Ardian partnership has been instrumental in helping us to transform and grow the airport. We look forward to building on this success with AMP Capital as we continue to develop LLA into a world-class airport.”
Aena’s director general for non-regulated business José Manuel Fernández Bosch said: “As London Luton Airport’s main shareholder we remain fully committed to the airport’s growth and development in cooperation with stakeholders and employees.”
It is unclear what AMP’s aims are at this present time. With the obvious goal of getting a return on investment, it could be the aim of finishing the transformation process and begin the phase of putting pressure on the CEO to get the work of getting airlines into the airport as soon as possible. AMP and the CEO of the airport can now put an offer out to airlines, offering new facilities as a result of the £160 million investment.
Over the past few years, the airport has experienced significant growth from the likes of easyJet, Wizz Air and plenty of others. Wizz Air has recently opened a UK Air Operator’s Certificate will most likely use Luton Airport, Doncaster, and Liverpool amongst a few as their airports of expansion. It will be interesting to see how Luton, in particular, will adapt to that expansion, whether further expansion will be needed looking down the line.