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.
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
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
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).