Leeds Bradford Airport sold to Australian investment fund

Leeds Bradford Airport has been sold to Australian investment firm AMP Capital, The Yorkshire Post can reveal.

21 June 2017....... Ryanair at Leeds Bradford Airport. Picture Tony Johnson.

The Sydney-based fund has agreed to acquire 100 per cent of the airport from current owners Bridgepoint Advisers Limited, which has owned the airport for the last decade.

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A spokesperson for AMP Capital called the airport a “compelling investment” and said that it had chosen to purchase the site “due to its excellent location and strong growth prospects”.

AMP Capital has a worldwide presence an a track-record of investing in airports globally within its infrastructure portfolio for more than 20 years.

It currently owns Newcastle Airport as well as having a stake in Thames Water and Angel Trains.

Leeds Bradford Airport currently handles four million annual passengers annually.

Bridgepoint acquired the airport in 2007 for £145.5m, having purchased it from the five councils of West Yorkshire who co-owned it.

Passengers arrive at Leeds Bradford Airport..2nd October 2017 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Simon Ellis, Head of Origination, Europe at AMP Capital, said: “With its strong underlying fundamentals including freehold ownership with well-invested infrastructure, a diversified airline mix and its catchment area in an economic hub of the North of England, Leeds Bradford Airport is a highly attractive investment and a great fit for AMP Capital’s global infrastructure platform.

“We believe there is a clear opportunity for performance enhancement through tailoring and improving the customer experience and working collaboratively with our key partners including airlines, government and local businesses. In addition, the airport serves the Yorkshire and the Humber region, one of the fastest-growing regions in the UK with a population growth of 6 per cent since 2001 and there is also potential for further route development.

“AMP Capital’s heritage in transportation infrastructure investment and our experience of owning airports means we are well placed to develop the exciting opportunities presented by this investment.”

Michael Davy, Partner at Bridgepoint, said: “Over the past five years of Bridgepoint ownership, passenger numbers have grown by almost 40 per cent to over four million, c. £30 million has been invested in cap-ex projects including a terminal upgrade, employee numbers have grown from 200 to around 460, and EBITDA has grown by over 25 per cent per annum.”

A plane takes off from Leeds Bradford Airport
Passengers arrive at Leeds Bradford Airport..2nd October 2017 ..Picture by Simon Hulme
A plane takes off from Leeds Bradford Airport