£1.27bn deal

Vinci acquires majority stake in Edinburgh airport

Edinburgh Airport expects more routes

French company Vinci Airports is promising new routes after acquiring a 50.01% stake in Edinburgh Airport in a deal worth £1.27 billion.

The transaction is expected to be completed during the summer, following the receipt of regulatory approvals.

The remaining 49.99% stake will be managed by Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), which has owned the airport since 2012.

The acquisition marks a new stage in the strategic partnership initiated by Vinci Airports with GIP in 2019, when it acquired a majority stake in London Gatwick Airport. It also owns Belfast International.

Edinburgh Airport reported a total revenue of £272 million and an EBITDA margin of 65% in 2023. It will be fully consolidated in the group accounts.

Vinci Airports said it will leverage its global airports experience to further develop Edinburgh Airport – both aeronautical and non-aeronautical (especially retail) – by opening new routes and making additional investments.

In a statement, Vinci said Edinburgh Airport’s management will continue to lead the company.

Sir John Elvidge, chairman of Edinburgh Airport, said: “We are pleased to welcome VINCI Airports to Scotland and recognise that this is a significant vote of confidence in Scotland, and the future of its capital city airport.”

Gordon Dewar, chief executive, of Edinburgh Airport, said: “We welcome and look forward to working with Vinci Airports and Global Infrastructure Partners.

“The leadership team – which remains in place – is wholly committed to working with our investors to improve customer service, accelerate our decarbonisation plans and strengthen Scotland’s connectivity with the world, which ultimately drives the country’s international competitiveness and prosperity.

Gordon Dewar
Gordon Dewar: new chapter (pic: Terry Murden)

“I should thank the whole team at Edinburgh Airport for the contribution they have made to our success over the last 12 years since GIP acquired the airport and look forward to working with them to write a new, exciting chapter in the airport’s story.”

Bayor Ogunlesi, chairman and chief executive of GIP, said: “We are excited to partner with Vinci, with whom we have a strong and productive strategic relationship, to continue to support Edinburgh Airport’s future growth.

“We remain committed to providing high-quality service to passengers. We are very pleased VINCI shares our vision of Edinburgh Airport’s future.”

Nicolas Notebaert, chief executive of Vinci Concessions and president of Vinci Airports, said: “Together with GIP, Vinci Airports will continue the strategy of growing connectivity and developing commercial activities, whilst also leveraging Vinci Airport’s international expertise to accelerate decarbonization and continually improving customer experience.

“This acquisition of a third freehold airport in the UK, in addition to London Gatwick and Belfast International, demonstrates Vinci Airports’ long term strategic ambition and continued commitment to the country.”

Michael McGhee, GlPs’ deputy chairman and founding partner, said: “This partnership underlines our commitment to Scotland and its capital city airport. We are excited to extend our partnership with Vinci to deliver on our shared aspirations for the future of Edinburgh Airport, including our promise to support the airport’s 2030 sustainability commitments.

“We are pleased the senior leadership team will remain in place under the chairmanship of Sir John Elvidge. Their focus remains on the long-term growth, modernisation and sustainability of the airport and on continuing to improve passenger service.”

Edinburgh Airport is the sixth largest in the UK, supports 28,000 jobs in Scotland and contributes £1.4 billion a year to the Scottish economy. Working with 35 airlines, the airport connects Scotland to 155 destinations in the UK and overseas.

As part of the transaction, Crosswind Developments, which is promoting an important business and residential development adjacent to the airport, will assume the same ownership structure as the airport. Its management team and strategy will remain, with chairman Steve Dunlop and chief executive John Watson continuing in their respective roles.

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