Canadian Investors Complete City Airport Swoop

A Canadian-led consortium has won the battle to purchase London City Airport, with the deal expected to cost the new owners around £2bn.

London City Airport

London City Airport was put up for auction by previous owners Global Infrastructure Partners in the summer of 2015.

The new ownership group consists of Alberta Investment Management Corporation, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Wren House, utilising investment funds from the Kuwait Investment Authority.

The new owners have stated that they are “committed to the responsible, long-term ownership and development of London City Airport to ensure its continued strong position and reputation as a key airport for London.”

The capital’s smallest airport has been steadily growing in size for the past decade, with a record 4.3 million passengers using the airport to travel abroad in 2015. The last time the airport was bought and sold, in 2006, annual passengers figures had reached only two million.

The airport has exchanged hands twice previously, with former owner GIP purchasing the Docklands site in 2006 for £750m from Irish investor Dermot Desmond, who paid just £23.5m for the airport in 1995.

The Canadian syndicate already owns a number of airports within the UK, including Birmingham, Bristol and Belfast International, as well as others outside of the UK, such as Brussels and Copenhagen. It also owns High Speed 1, the rail link between London and the Channel Tunnel, which passes through Stratford.

Drew Goodsell