Report: Newcastle airport stake sale being explored

Australian investment bank Macquarie is considering selling its 49% stake in Newcastle airport in the north-east of England, according to a report. The stake is owned by Copenhagen international airport, in which Macquarie owns a controlling majority.

Funds owned by Macquarie are lining up the sale of their stake in Newcastle airport in the north-east of England as part of a strategy to divest smaller aviation assets, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The report says “very early stage” talks regarding the sale of the 49 percent stake are underway. The stake is owned via a controlling stake in Copenhagen international airport.

It is reported that Macquarie is keen for a sale to happen so that the management team can focus on the running of Copenhagen international airport and not be distracted by what is viewed as a non-core asset. Since acquiring 54 percent of Copenhagen international airport in 2005, Macquarie has overseen the divestment of China’s Hainan airport and Mexico’s Asur airport group.

The remaining 51 percent stake in Newcastle airport is held by seven local authorities represented by South Tyneside Council. According to the report, the Council said it was not considering selling any shares “at this time” and had not considered whether it would buy any additional shares that came up for sale.

At the end of last week, BAA, the Ferrovial-owned airports operator, announced the sale of its 65 percent stake in Naples airport to a subsidiary of Italian infrastructure fund manager F2i for €150 million.