Abertis, the management company at London Luton Airport, has announced a £433 million (US$656m) deal to sell the airport’s operating contract to a consortium led by Spanish airport operator Aena, which already has a 10% stake in the airport.
Luton is currently the UK’s fifth busiest passenger airport, handling about 11.5 million passengers last year and has plans to handle up to 18 million passengers a year.
Aena Chairman, Jose Manuel Vargas, says he wants to “substantially build up Luton”.
The airport has been run by Abertis since 2005, when it bought 90% of the previous operator, TBI.
The sale is subject to clearance by competition authorities.
Abertis says the move is part of its efforts to “continually revise its portfolio in order to optimise the company’s asset base” and follows its recently announced agreements to sell Belfast International Airport and Stockholm Skavsta Airport to the US company ADC & HAS Airports Worldwide. It sold Cardiff Airport to the Welsh assembly for £53m (US$80m) in March.
Abertis’ remaining airport operator contracts are with the Mexican Grupo Aeropuertuario del Pacifico and Montego Bay Airport in Jamaica. Both are for sale.