Omniport secures 80.1% stake in Norwich Airport

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UK airport investment and operating company Omniport has concluded an £11 million ($20.2 million) deal to secure 80.1% of Norwich Airport, and is lining up for further airport acquisition opportunities.

Norwich Airport, which is located in the eastern UK, was formerly fully-owned by local authorities but investment requirements amounting to an estimated £32 million ($51 million) by 2011 prompted a search for private investors in 2002.

Following approval from its local authority owners – Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council – Omniport has now completed the airport purchase, although the remaining 19.9% of the airport’s equity will remain under local authority control.

Scheduled airlines operating from Norwich include Eastern Airways, KLM Cityhopper and BMI Regional.

Omniport chairman Murdoch Laing says: “We are pleased to be investing in an airport which has the sound potential to grow on a number of different levels. We look forward to working in partnership with the councils and the wider community to ensure that the airport develops an enhanced role as a major economic driver for the region. We bring with us experience and a track record of success which we are eager to apply to Norwich International Airport.”

In addition to the £11 million purchase price Omniport has committed to spend a minimum of £8.3 million on capital expenditure over the next five years.

The investment and operating company says that it shortly expects to conclude an equity investment with two institutional investors to support further airport acquisitions.

London-based Omniport recently sold its 10% stake in Prestwick Airport in Scotland to New Zealand-based infrastructure and utilities investment group Infratil under a deal valued at just over £6 million ($10.5 million).