21 JANUARY 2013


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Article from BTNews 21 JANUARY 2013

Manchester wins Stansted

Early last Friday evening (18 January), with its Manchester runways still open in spite of the appalling weather conditions, Manchester Airports Group plc (MAG) announced it had won the auction for Stansted Airport for £1.5bn.  Australian Industry Funds will purchase a 35% stake in MAG for £1bn to help fund the takeover with £500m coming from the Group’s commercial operations.  Due diligence regarding the sale and consequential changes to the ownership structure are due to be completed in February 2013.

MAG is a holding company owned by the ten metropolitan borough councils of Greater Manchester.  Besides Manchester itself it also owns East Midlands and Bournemouth airports.

Unlike Manchester, which has had two runways since 2001, Stansted is a single runway operation although a second is definitely possible.  In 2007 it peaked with just over 24m passengers, but in 2012 this was down to 17m plus. 

This drop in throughput has been due to a harsh economic environment, the dominance of one airline (Ryanair with 70%+ of passengers), the loss of long haul traffic, the emergence of both London City and Southend airports, and poor rail links.

Stansted’s future lies much in the hands of the Davies Commission and the support of the London Mayor. www.baa.com www.magworld.co.uk

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