NZ's Infratil boosts stake in Glasgow Prestwick airport

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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.