traded company that owns New Zealand’s
Wellington airport, has bought a 5% stake in Auckland
airport at a time when the airport is subject to a takeover bid by Dubai
Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), a Dubai-headquartered aviation services company.
In a statement to
the New Zealand stock exchange, Infratil says it has acquired a shareholding in publicly
traded Auckland International Airport (AIA). In a separate statement to the
exchange AIA says Infratil’s
stake is 5.01%. The shares were bought on the open market.
Infratil, which is a major stakeholder in New
airport, says that even though it now has a vested interest in AIA it still has
“a strong interest” in developing a secondary airport at Whenuapai, outside Auckland.
airport would increase competition against AIA,
an airport that Air New Zealand claims has abused its monopoly position by
pushing through hikes in user fees and charges.
airport in the past has been opposed to Infratil’s
efforts to develop the Whenuapai
airbase into a commercial airport.
Infratil’s sudden move onto the AIA share registry comes
after DAE last month made an offer to pay up to NZ$2.6 billion ($2.1 billion) for a 51-60% stake
in AIA, valuing New Zealand’s largest airport at NZ$5.6 billion.