New Zealand-based infrastructure and
utilities investment group Infratil has lifted its stake in Glasgow Prestwick
International Airport in Scotland to 77.3% from 67%.
Infratil says in a statement that it
paid £6.025 million ($10.5 million) for the 2.2 million additional shares and
2.2 million warrants to acquire 2.2 million more shares at £1.52 each.
The company acquired the shares from
Scottish investment company Omniport, which was part of a consortium involving
Infratil that bought the airport in January 2001.
Infratil chairman Kevin O’Connor
says Glasgow Prestwick airport has shown strong growth since the consortium
purchased it nearly three years ago, when just over 900,000 passengers were
handled annually. In the 12 months to November the airport handled 1.8 million
passengers, while for the six months to 30 September its earnings before interest,
depreciation and tax were £3.02 million.
“When we first acquired our
shareholding in Glasgow Prestwick International Airport we were seeking to broaden
Infratil’s portfolio of assets and, in particular, were seeking exposure to the
high-growth UK regional airport sector,” says O’Connor.
“This sector remains a key focus for
Infratil. An effective way of increasing exposure to this sector is to increase
the level of investment in an asset already well known to us.”
Infratil also holds a 66% stake in Wellington
International Airport serving New Zealand’s capital city.