Manchester Airport Group in £560m refinancing

The IFM and Manchester City Council-backed holding has raised fresh bank money as it undertakes a £1bn revamp of its flagship hub.

Manchester Airport Group (MAG), the largest UK-owned airport holding, has raised £560 million ($792 million; €706 million) as it seeks to refinance existing facilities and take on new debt.

The total, which comprises a new £500 million revolving credit facility and a £60 million liquidity facility, will be partly used to repay the group’s current five-year, £300 million revolving facility and its £60 million liquidity facility. A £90 million package of remaining term loans has also been refinanced.

MAG is 35.5 percent-owned by Australia’s IFM Investors, with Manchester City Council holding an equal share. The remainder belongs to the other nine Greater Manchester Councils.

The group has embraced an active refinancing strategy since acquiring London’s Stansted Airport in January 2013, a deal that saw it take on £900 million in term loans and a £300m revolving credit facility provided by a group of 12 banks.

A year later, MAG issued two UK-listed bonds totalling £810 million. It used the proceeds to repay the 2013 term loans, with the remaining £90 million being refinanced with the new revolving credit facility.

“The new bank facilities are part of the long-term financing for the group, consistent with its strategic aims and long-term capital requirements,” MAG said in a statement. The group is planning to spend £1 billion on a “transformation programme” at Manchester Airport, one of only two UK airports with two runways along with London’s Heathrow.

The new credit facilities will be provided by BNP Paribas, Barclays, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, HSBC, Handelsbanken, National Australia Bank and The Royal Bank of Scotland.