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Manchester Airport Group acquires Stansted Airport

Manchester Airport Group acquires Stansted Airport

Heathrow Airport Holdings has agreed to sell Stansted Airport to Manchester Airports Group for £1.5 billion in cash, payable in full at closing.

Heathrow Airport, which is presently the sole owner of Stansted, was forced to sell Stansted following a ruling by the UK Competition Commission.

Stansted was originally put up for sale in August 2012.

Colin Matthews, chief executive of Heathrow, said: “Stansted Airport and its people have been part of our company for a long time.

“We wish the new owners every success and are confident the airport will continue to flourish.

“We will continue to focus on improving Heathrow, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports,” Matthews added.

Manchester Airports Group’s Australian partner, Industry Funds Management, will become a strategic investor in the UK airport group as part of the transaction.

Following closure of the deal Industry Funds Management will own 35.5 per cent of the company.

MAG also owns East Midlands and Bournemouth airports and IFM owns investments in nine airports across Australia, including five major state capital city airports.

“We are delighted to be successful in our bid for Stansted Airport, the London airport for Europe,” said Charlie Cornish, chief executive of MAG.

“The transaction represents a significant milestone in the achievement of our previously stated strategy of adding a quality airport to the group and delivering long-term value to our shareholders.”

The sale is expected to close by the end of February 2013.