THE sale of Stansted Airport to the Manchester Airports Group for £1.5billion was sealed today (Thursday, February 28).
The Uttlesford low-cost hub is now part of a company serving nearly 42m passengers through Manchester, East Midlands, Bournemouth and now the former BAA Essex base.
The new owner is promising a "seamless transition of ownership and operations" and to maintain "business as usual for passengers and customers".
MAG chief executive Charlie Cornish said: "We’re delighted to have added Stansted to our strong portfolio of UK airports. We aim to help fulfil its potential in the London market and bring more choice to its passengers in the years ahead. Today represents the achievement of a major strategic ambition for MAG and we look forward to working alongside staff, partners and stakeholders in ensuring the Group’s success.”
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, a MAG shareholder, said: "MAG is a key driver of jobs and growth in the north of England and the acquisition of Stansted will help us deliver maximum value for Manchester City Council and the other local authority shareholders.
"A larger, stronger MAG will benefit the whole region and we welcome confirmation that the acquisition has been completed."
As part of the transaction, Industry Funds Management (IFM) has taken a 35.5 per cent equity interest in the enlarged MAG group
Christian Seymour, head of infrastructure, Europe, at IFM, said: "We are hugely pleased to complete the acquisition of our stake in MAG and Stansted.
"It is a landmark acquisition for IFM, deepening our footprint in the UK, and is the culmination of 18 months’ work developing a strong, long term partnership with MAG. We look forward to bringing our significant international expertise in the airport sector to the benefit of the group.”
The former BAA, now Heathrow Airports Holdings was forced to sell Stansted, along with Gatwick and a Scottish base, as part of anti-monopoly action ordered by the Competition Commission.