Rising debt forces Newcastle airport sale

17.4.2011 (Market Watch)

By London Bureau

Newcastle airport has been put up for sale as the local authorities that control
it look to reduce ballooning debts, The Sunday Times reports without citing sources.

The seven local authorities, which own a 51% stake in the airport, have appointed
KPMG to advise them before debt repayments are due, the paper said. The authorities
are Durham County Council, Gateshead MBC, City of Newcastle, North Tyneside MBC,
Northumberland County Council, South Tyneside MBC and City of Sunderland.

A GBP320 million repayment is due in December 2013 on a loan the airport took
on in 2006.

The paper added that Copenhagen airports, which owns the remaining 49%, is also
keen to sell.

Rasmus Christiansen, Chief Executive Officer of Copenhagen Airports International
and Vice President of Copenhagen Airports A/S said: “We don’t comment on market
speculation. We are often approached by airport investors but we are not in a
formal process to sell Newcastle.”

Newcastle airport couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Newspaper Web site: http://www.timesonline.co.uk  
In 2010 there were approximately  4,346,500 passengers, which was down  – 4.9%
compared to 2009.
2009   4,569,000 passengers  (down – 9% on 2008)

2008    5,017,000 passengers  (down -11% on 2007)
2007    5,624,000  passengers
2006    5,407,000

2005    5,187,000

2000    3,145,000

1997    2,587,000

More information on Newcastle Airport

see also

Bosses silent over Newcastle Airport sale claims

Date Added: 19th April 2011


Airport bosses remained tight-lipped amid speculation that the whole of the site
could be put up for sale. Copenhagen Airports, which owns 49% of the airport,
has put its stake on the market following a decision by Macquarie Bank to withdraw.
Councils denied that the other 51% was also up for sale. Without a new equity
investor putting cash into the business councils may have to sell their own stake.
They may also have to pay a great deal of money.