France’s Vinci completes takeover of majority stake – 50.01% – in Gatwick


France’s Vinci completes takeover of majority stake in Gatwick airport

French construction and transport concession group Vinci today sealed a deal to take a majority stake in Britain’s second biggest airport – London Gatwick.Vinci formally completed its £2.9 billion deal to buy a 50.01% stake in the airport, which was first announced last December.

The company took advantage of a Brexit-related hit to UK asset prices to buy the stake in Gatwick, which is Britain’s second-busiest airport after London Heathrow.

Sterling has fallen around 10% in the last 13 months, as British Prime Minister Theresa May has failed to pass her Brexit deal, delaying Britain’s departure from the European Union until October 31.

But Vinci Airports President Nicolas Notebaert said he did not think that Brexit would change Gatwick’s prospects.

He said this was due to strong demand from tourists to travel to London and the number of people who live in Gatwick’s catchment area.

“We know there is a long list of (airlines) waiting to get slots, we know the passengers within London need to travel,” Notebaert told Reuters, adding that a economic hit from a disorderly Brexit was unlikely to change that.

“Even if there is a slight effect, the constraint on the London capacity area in airports mean that we are very confident about the outcome for the traffic in London Gatwick,” he added.

The acquisition gives Vinci, which already runs 45 airports in 12 countries, access to the world’s largest metropolitan aviation market.

The company is now the second largest airport operator in the world, behind Spain’s Aena but it has overtaken French rival ADP.

France’s plans to privatise ADP will be delayed, and possibly blocked, after the Constitutional Council last week approved plans for a referendum on the issue.

Vinci is a candidate to be involved in that privatisation.

Asked about the delay, Notebaert said that Vinci had a duty to look at opportunities but was not focused on just one country or asset.

Notebaert said that competition reasons might prevent Vinci from investing in another London airport, but that the company could well invest elsewhere in Britain.

“We will look very carefully, and we don’t see any (reason) why we couldn’t look at the UK in the future,” he added.



This is Gatwick’s press release:

Gatwick celebrates new ownership with continued investment to “put passengers at heart” of exciting new chapter


  • New long-term partnership formed by VINCI Airports and Global Infrastructure Partners which will support Gatwick’s passenger-focused strategy
  • Major investment programme will “enable Gatwick to continue on its successful journey” says CEO Stewart Wingate

London Gatwick today announced a new chapter in its ownership as VINCI Airports completed the purchase of a 50.01% stake in the airport. Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) will continue to manage the remaining 49.99% interest in Gatwick. The new partnership promises continued investment to put passengers at the heart of Gatwick’s future plans.

VINCI Airports, the world’s leading private airport operator, will bring its expertise to Gatwick including a strong focus on quality of service and programme management. Now part of a global network of 46 airports in 12 countries, Gatwick teams will have access to broader opportunities particularly in international career development and in-house training. As the world’s most efficient single runway airport, Gatwick will also share best practice with VINCI Airports as the company continues to pursue its operational improvement strategy.

The completion of the transaction is the ideal opportunity for Gatwick’s shareholders to express their shared vision for the future of the airport and to announce the evolution of Gatwick’s governance based on continuity. Sir David Higgins, Stewart Wingate and Nick Dunn will remain respectively Chairman, CEO and CFO of the airport, and will be joined by Cédric Laurier, from VINCI Airports, as CTO (Chief Technical Officer).

The airport’s ambitious plans for the future remain, with a further £1.1 billion Capital Investment Programme (CIP) set to deliver a range of passenger improvements by 2023.

Nicolas Notebaert, CEO of VINCI Concessions and President of VINCI Airports, said:

“This partnership marks the beginning of a very exciting future for London Gatwick and VINCI Airports. Applying our joint skills will add significant value to both VINCI Airports and London Gatwick Airport and benefit all our stakeholders, notably airlines and passengers. Combining our expertise will further improve our operational excellence and sustain our shared vision of putting passengers’ satisfaction at the heart of everything we do.”

Sir David Higgins, Chairman, Gatwick, said:

“Today’s announcement marks an exciting new era for Gatwick, its airlines and passengers. We welcome VINCI Airports to Gatwick and are grateful for this strong vote of confidence in Gatwick and the UK.”

Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive Officer, Gatwick, said:

“Today is the start of a new chapter for Gatwick, with new owners and further investment enabling the airport to continue on its successful journey. The management team and I will remain focused on delivering exceptional service to our passengers and to developing longer-term plans to grow our airport.”

Michael McGhee, GIP Partner, said:

“The GIP-VINCI partnership is focused on continuing the transformation of the airport. VINCI’s global airport expertise, coupled with GIP’s intimate knowledge of Gatwick and the UK market, offer a unique and complementary world-class airport capability to carry on delivering exceptional performance.”

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (“CalPERS”), as part of the 49.99% interest managed by GIP, will retain a 9.99% stake in Gatwick.

Paul Mouchakkaa, Managing Investment Director – Real Assets, CalPERS, said:“CalPERS is excited to be a part of this new chapter of Gatwick’s future.”

Since December 2009, Gatwick has grown passenger numbers from 32 million to more than 46 million in 2019, while maintaining very high passenger satisfaction scores. In December 2018, Gatwick’s Quality of Service Monitor (QSM) score was 4.29 out of 5.0 – a ten-year high.

Throughout this time, the airport has focused on delivering on its mission to be the UK’s most sustainable airport through its Decade of Change programme. Highlights include achieving a Zero Waste to Landfill accreditation from the Carbon Trust, as well as becoming a carbon neutral airport.

Gatwick has also achieved much success in growing its long haul network, with over 60 long haul routes now available across Asia, North and South America and beyond. Gatwick flies to more destinations than any other UK airport. Recent route launches include Shanghai, Rio De Janeiro and San Francisco.

This has been supported by strong levels of investment in airport facilities, with more than £2 billion spent on improving Gatwick since 2009 including the world’s largest self-service bag drop in North Terminal, a brand-new Pier 1 and a state-of-the-art security area in both terminals, through which 95% of passengers pass through in less than five minutes.

The airport also continues to look to the future and recently consulted on its Draft Master Plan for the next 15 years, looking at how Gatwick could make best use of its existing infrastructure and, notably, its existing standby runway. The final master plan is due to be published later this year.


About VINCI Airports

VINCI Airports, as the leading private airport operator in the world, manages the development and operation of 46 airports located in France, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Serbia, Cambodia, Japan, the United States, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Chile and Brazil. Served by around 250 airlines, VINCI Airports’ network handled 240 million passengers in 2018 – including traffic at London Gatwick.

Through its expertise as a comprehensive integrator, VINCI Airports develops, finances, builds and operates airports, leveraging its investment capability, international network and know-how to optimize the management and performance of existing airport infrastructure, facility extensions and new-build construction projects. In 2018, its annual revenue for managed activities amounted to €3.6 billion, for consolidated revenue of €1.6 billion. More comprehensive information is available on

About GIP

GIP is an independent infrastructure investor that makes equity investments in high quality infrastructure assets in the energy, transport and water/waste sectors, where it possesses deep experience and strong relationships. GIP has US$56 billion of Assets under Management. Its 18 portfolio companies operate in over 50 countries with circa 54,000 employees and generate annual revenues of circa US$50 billion.

GIP is committed to the UK as the owner of Gatwick Airport Ltd, Edinburgh Airport, and it has also recently acquired 50% of Orsted’s Hornsea 1 – the UK’s largest offshore windfarm. GIP also previously owned London City Airport from 2006-2016.

About Gatwick Airport

Gatwick’s Airport is the UK’s second largest airport. It serves more than 230 destinations in 74 countries for 46 million passengers a year on short and long-haul point-to-point services. Gatwick is also a major economic driver and generates around 85,000 jobs nationally, with 24,000 of these located on the airport. The airport is south of Central London with excellent public transport links, including the Gatwick Express, and is part of the Oyster contactless payment network.

Gatwick’s 2018 draft master plan sets out proposals for the airport’s ongoing development and sustainable growth. It also outlines the airport’s latest thinking on how it can meet the increasing demand for air travel and provide Britain with enhanced global connectivity. A 12-week public consultation closed on 10 January 2019, and a consultation response summary and final master plan will be published later in 2019.



Response by CAGNE (Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions)


Gatwick announcement of ‘done deal’ with VINCI benefits shareholders but not those on the ground,” said CAGNE, Communities Against Gatwick Noise and Emissions.

“It is extremely disappointing that Gatwick’s release today (14thApril) mentions nothing of reducing noise for the communities of Sussex, Surrey and Kent.  After the collapse to the Gatwick Noise Management Board last week it is difficult to know how residents are to make their voices heard that ‘enough is enough’ with the current level of aircraft noise that they are expected to endure day and night.

Communities will have to be ready to strongly oppose the Gatwick Master Plan, as mentioned in the Gatwick press release, as the standby runway is a second runway by stealth.”



See earlier:

Gatwick airport: majority stake 50.01% sold to French group Vinci; GIP and partners retain 49.99%

New owner says Brexit threat helped Vinci get 50.01% stake in UK’s second-busiest airport for ‘reasonable’ £2.9bn. A consortium led by the US investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) is selling a majority stake of 50.01% in the airport to Vinci Airports, one of the world’s top airport operators and part of the infrastructure group Vinci. Vinci and GIP will manage Gatwick together.  Gatwick will be the largest in Vinci’s portfolio of 46 airports spread across 12 countries. The French group’s network includes Lyon-Saint-Exupéry airport, Nantes Atlantique and Grenoble Alpes Isère in France; Lisbon and Porto in Portugal, Funchal in Madeira, and Osaka Itami and Kansai International in Japan.  The GIP-led consortium bought Gatwick from the airport operator BAA for £1.5bn in 2009 and spent £1.9bn modernising the airport in subsequent years. The shareholders are selling down their stakes, leaving GIP with 21%, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority with 7.9%, Australia’s sovereign wealth fund with 8.6% and two public pension funds in California and South Korea with 6.4% and 6% respectively.

Click here to view full story…