ATP buys Macquarie’s Copenhagen airport stake for €1.3bn

The Danish government had called for ‘long-term’ investors following Macquarie’s review of its stake in May.

Danish pension fund ATP has bought Macquarie’s share of Copenhagen Airport in a deal worth about Dkr9.8 billion ($1.6 billion; €1.3 billion).

ATP will join Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan as joint 57.7 percent owner of the Danish hub, with a further 39.2 percent held by the Danish government. The acquisition is based on an offer of Dkr5,700 per share, although it is subject to fluctuation before its anticipated November closing date.

Macquarie’s share in Copenhagen Airport was held by the €1.2 billion Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund III after it paid €510 million for its ownership of the site in 2008. Copenhagen was bought at the same time as the fund invested €402.5 million in Brussels Airport, an asset also held alongside OTPP and which remains in the portfolio.

Macquarie launched a strategic review of its ownership in May – a move which drew concern from the Danish government – despite the fund’s 10-year lifecycle. Finance Minister Kristian Jensen said the airport requires “investors with a long-term view on value creation” and that the government would consider regulation to strengthen this view. However, Ulrik Dan Weuder, head of global direct investments at ATP, told Infrastructure Investor the deal was a private transaction and contained no government involvement.

“The airport in Copenhagen is a key infrastructure in Denmark and we are proud to be one of its stewards going forward,” said Christian Hyldahl, chief executive of ATP. “We are keen to work together with all stakeholders to further develop the airport and contribute to its long-term continuation as a critical transportation hub in northern Europe to the benefit of both the Danish society as well as the members in ATP.”

The airport increased passenger numbers from 19.7 million in MEIF3’s first year of ownership in 2009 to 29 million in 2016. The first half of 2017 recorded 14 million passengers, while it is hoped a Dkr20 billion expansion will raise the yearly number of passengers to 40 million by 2024.

ATP shifted towards making direct investments towards the end of 2013. Its infrastructure portfolio includes a 19.9 percent share in Spain’s Redexis Gas, while it provided about £700 million ($923.9 million; €776.3 million) alongside Dutch counterpart APG for 3i’s acquisition of a portfolio from EISER Infrastructure in December, including Belfast City Airport.