Macquarie eyes Copenhagen Airport departure

The strategic review of the airport, currently undergoing a €2.7bn expansion, comes as MEIF3 edges towards maturity.

Denmark’s Copenhagen Airport could set for a shift in ownership again after Macquarie announced a strategic review of its share in the hub.

The €1.2 billion Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund III holds a 57.7 percent stake in the airport jointly with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, while the Danish government owns a further 39.2 percent.

With the 10-year fund life of MEIF3 closing in, Macquarie said it has appointed advisers who will be engaging with a variety of infrastructure investors and existing shareholders over the next few months. While Macquarie was keen to state the review may or may not lead to a sale, it added that any sale process would be agreed this year.

MEIF3 first invested in Copenhagen Airport in October 2008, when it bought Macquarie Airports’ 26.9 percent interest as well as its 26.1 percent stake in Brussels Airport in a deal worth a total A$1.5 billion ($1.1 billion; €1 billion). Three years later, Macquarie Airports sold its remaining 30 percent share in the site to OTPP, a deal that also included its 39 percent stake in Brussels Airport, for which the Canadian pension paid A$813 million.

Copenhagen Airport posted a 9.2 percent passenger increase last year to 29 million. The Danish capital’s hub saw passengers numbering just under 20 million when Macquarie initially invested in the site in 2005. A Dkk20 billion ($3 billion; €2.7 billion) expansion project was unveiled in December, expected to increase the airport’s capacity to 40 million by 2024.

Shortly after the expansion was announced, Danish Finance Minister Kristian Jensen told Bloomberg the government was “clearly open” to selling its stakes in various infrastructure assets, including Copenhagen Airport.

Jensen declined to comment on a potential divestment when contacted by Infrastructure Investor but stressed that given the “central” importance of the hub for the Danish economy, “the right ownership of the airport is of course also an important issue for us”. He noted that “Copenhagen Airport is over all a very well-functioning and well-run airport”.

OTPP could not be reached for comment before press time.