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Leeds Bradford owner to buy stake in Luton

Passengers in Luton airport

An Australian investment firm that owns Leeds Bradford airport is set to buy a 49 per cent stake in Luton airport from Ardian.

AMP Capital, which also owns a stake in Newcastle airport, has signed an agreement with Ardian, and reports say the deal could be worth around £350 million.

Ardian acquired its stake in 2013 and together with majority owner Aena has invested £160 million in developing the airport.

Passenger numbers have soared at the UK’s fifth largest airport to 15.8 million in 2017. Luton is in the middle of a transformation project, with a redesigned terminal, new shops and restaurants and major upgrades to transport links.

The deal will not affect Aena’s 51 per cent stake in the airport.

Nick Barton, CEO of Luton airport, said: “Since their investment in 2013 the Aena and Ardian partnership has been instrumental in helping us to transform and grow the airport. We look forward to building on this success with AMP Capital as we continue to develop LLA into a world-class airport.”

Andrew Liau, MD of Ardian, added: “This success has been made possible by the hard work of everyone involved with LLA, including the employees, our industrial partner Aena, and an extended list of important stakeholders. AMP Capital will be an excellent partner for them and LLA as the airport continues its growth ambitions.”

The announcement comes just days after the Unite union said it would open a ballot for possible strike action over pay and zero-hours contracts for staff at the airport.

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