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New Owner For Leeds Bradford Airport

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18 Oct 2017

Sydney-based fund AMP Capital, which owns Newcastle Airport as well as stakes in Thames Water and Angel Trains, has agreed to acquire 100 per cent of Leeds Bradford Airport from Bridgepoint.

European private equity firm Bridgepoint acquired the airport in a transaction totalling £145.5m in May 2007 following a decision by five West Yorkshire councils to sell 100 per cent of the share capital in the airport.

The airport serves four million passengers a year and AMP Capital has invested due to its location and strong growth prospects in addition to the firm's expertise and track-record of investing in airports globally within its infrastructure portfolio for more than 20 years.

Simon Ellis, head of origination, Europe at AMP Capital, said: "With its strong underlying fundamentals including freehold ownership with well-invested infrastructure, a diversified airline mix and its catchment area in an economic hub of the North of England, Leeds Bradford Airport is a highly attractive investment and a great fit for AMP Capital’s global infrastructure platform.

"We believe there is a clear opportunity for performance enhancement through tailoring and improving the customer experience and working collaboratively with our key partners including airlines, government and local businesses.

He added: "In addition, the airport serves the Yorkshire and the Humber region, one of the fastest-growing regions in the UK with a population growth of 6 per cent since 2001 and there is also potential for further route development.

"AMP Capital’s heritage in transportation infrastructure investment and our experience of owning airports means we are well placed to develop the exciting opportunities presented by this investment."

Michael Davy, partner at Bridgepoint, said: "Over the past five years of Bridgepoint ownership, passenger numbers have grown by almost 40 per cent to over four million, c. £30m has been invested in capex projects including a terminal upgrade, employee numbers have grown from 200 to around 460, and EBITDA has grown by over 25 per cent per annum."