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France’s Vinci to snap up majority stake in Edinburgh Airport

French firm and Gatwick Airport owner Vinci has struck a deal to buy a majority stake in Edinburgh Airport for around £1.27 billion.

Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) has agreed to sell a 50.01% stake in the Scottish airport to French infrastructure group Vinci Airports.

GIP, which has owned the airport since 2012, said it will retain the remaining 49.99% stake and form a strategic partnership with Vinci for the “next chapter” in the site’s growth and development.

It follows a similar deal in 2019 which saw Vinci buy a majority 50.01% stake in London’s Gatwick Airport, with a group of investors led by GIP retaining the remaining holding.

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The Edinburgh Airport deal is expected to complete by the middle of the year.

Edinburgh Airport’s chairman Sir John Elvidge and chief executive Gordon Dewar will remain in their roles following the deal.

Edinburgh Airport is Scotland’s busiest airport and the sixth busiest in the UK, with flights to more than 150 destinations across nearly 40 airlines.

Almost 15 million people are expected to pass through the airport this year.

Edinburgh Airport
Edinburgh is the busiest airport in Scotland (PA)

Mr Dewar said: “The leadership team – which remains in place – is wholly committed to working with our investors to improve customer service, accelerate our decarbonisation plans and strengthen Scotland’s connectivity with the world, which ultimately drives the country’s international competitiveness and prosperity.

“I should thank the whole team at Edinburgh Airport for the contribution they have made to our success over the last 12 years since GIP acquired the airport and look forward to working with them to write a new, exciting chapter in the airport’s story.”

GIP said the tie-up with Vinci would see the pair jointly invest in and develop the airport, similar to its investment partnership in Gatwick since 2019.

New York-based GIP, which was recently bought by US investment firm BlackRock, said that with Vinci, it would support management in modernising the airport, focusing on sustainability and improving passenger service.

Bayo Ogunlesi, GIP’s chairman and chief executive, said: “We remain committed to providing high-quality service to passengers.

“We are very pleased Vinci shares our vision of Edinburgh Airport’s future.”

Vinci is one of the world’s biggest private airport operators, with more than 70 airports in 13 countries.

Nicolas Notebaert, chief executive of Vinci Concessions and president of Vinci Airports, said: “This acquisition of a third freehold airport in the UK, in addition to London Gatwick and Belfast International, demonstrates Vinci Airports’ long-term strategic ambition and continued commitment to the country.”