London City Airport investor seeks exit -sources

AMSTERDAM/LONDON, Oct 13 (BestGrowthStock) – Infrastructure fund
manager Highstar Capital is looking to divest its 25 percent
stake in London City Airport, two people familiar with the
matter said, a sale that could fetch up to 200 million pounds
($317 million).

New York-based Highstar, which bought its stake in London’s
sole centrally located airport from Global Infrastructure
Partners (GIP) in 2008, is now looking for an exit and has
approached infrastructure and pension funds, the sources said.

GIP, which owns 75 percent of the airport, has taken
important steps by increasing capacity and improving profits,
but Highstar may be focused on the growth prospects of the
airport moving forward, the sources added.

“GIP has taken the airport from an annual core profit of 20
million euros to 50 million euros and delivered it
substantially, but it is set to perform slightly below the
bankers’ base case this year for the first time,” one of the
sources said.

The airport had an operating profit of 19.4 million pounds
in 2009 as it saw its number of passengers — most of them
business travellers commuting to and from London’s buzzing
financial district — drop 14 percent to 2.8 million.

Based on an earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and
amortisation of 15 times, seen by market sources as a benchmark
for the airport’s enterprise value, Highstar could fetch between
150 and 200 million pounds for its stake.

A London City Airport spokeswoman directed press enquiries
to Highstar, which did not immediately respond to a request for
comment. A GIP spokesman declined to comment.
(Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Quentin Webb; Editing by
Mike Nesbit)
($1=.6317 pounds)
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London City Airport investor seeks exit -sources