Ardian completes London Luton Airport deal

The French fund manager, in partnership with Spanish operator AENA, has acquired the UK’s fifth-largest airport.

Ardian, formerly known as AXA Private Equity, has completed the acquisition of London Luton Airport alongside Spanish airport operator AENA. The deal was announced in August this year, but has now received the necessary approvals.

The concession to run the airport was purchased for an equity value of £394.4 million (€472.8 million; $643.8 million) from TBI, a joint venture 10 percent owned by AENA and 90 percent by Spanish developer Abertis. The concession, granted by Luton Borough Council, runs until 2031.

London Luton Airport is the fifth-largest airport in the UK in terms of passenger numbers, serving 9.6 million passengers last year with departures to more than 100 global destinations.

AENA, which is the world’s largest airport operator, runs 46 airports in Spain and participates directly or indirectly in the management of a further 15 airports around the world. Its largest airport is Madrid-Barajas, which had 45 million passengers in 2012.

London Luton is the maiden airport deal for Ardian, which closed its third infrastructure fund earlier this year on €1.45 billion with a further €300 million earmarked for co-investments.