Days after reports of drone sightings and closure of Gatwick Airport runways, causing disturbance to thousands of passengers, has been sold to France’s Vinci for £2.9 billion.
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Under the conditions of agreement, the Global Infrastructer Partners (GIP), a consortium regulated by US investment fund will sell a share of 50.01% to Vinci Airports.
Gatwick the UK’s second largest airport struck an agreement, with Vinci who manages beyond 40 airports globally over America, Europe and Asia.
The Sussex airport was enormously interrupted in the run-up to christmas, after news of drone spotting created chaos for christmas travellers.
Last week after the drones were sighted inside the airport perimeter, about 1,000 Gatwick flights were discontinued or transfered across three days.
The pre-Christmas travel arrangements of many thousands of people, were destroyed by the emergency.
Although, there were subsequent implications that the drones at Gatwick may never have existed, the Evening Standard states, “although police later played them down, saying they were down to “poor communications”. (Standard.co.uk)
The GIP partner, Michael Mcghee, stated:
“We expect the transaction to be completed by the middle of next year, with the senior leadership team remaining in place.
“There focus, along with everyone at Gatwick, obviously remains on doing their very best for customers over the busy holiday period after the challenges of recent days”. (Quote, from standard.co.uk)
In 2009, Gatwick was obtained for £1.5 billion by the GIP consortium.
Sir David Higgins the chairman, Stewart Wingate the chief exec and Nick Dunn the finance chief, will remain in their positions, along with the senior management team at Gatwick subsequent to the contract.
The GIP shall persist to administer the outstanding 49.99% interest in Gatwick, after the closure of the transaction in the second quarter.
President of Vinci Airports, Nicolas Notebaert, said:
“As Gatwick’s new industrial partner, Vinci Airports will support and encourage growth of traffic, operational efficiency and leverage its international expertise in the development of commercial activities to further improve passenger satisfaction and experience”. (Quote from standard.co.uk)
The Evening Standard (https://standard.co.uk)