New Majority Ownership for Gatwick Airport

Left to right- Michael McGhee, Stewart Wingate and Nicolas Notebaert. (Gatwick Airport)

London Gatwick has announced that VINCI Airports has 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 partners said it will enable “continued investment to put passengers at the heart of Gatwick’s future plans”.

VINCI Airports said it 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.”

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 chief technical officer.

The airport said its Capital Investment Programme is unaffected and will deliver a range of passenger improvements by 2023.

Nicolas Notebaert, CEO of VINCI Concessions and president of VINCI Airports, commented: “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, CEO, Gatwick, added: “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.