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Macquarie not considering buying a stake in Heathrow Airport

The tussle for Heathrow has drawn in the likes of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi
The tussle for Heathrow has drawn in the likes of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi

Macquarie has denied press reports suggesting it is considering a multibillion pound swoop for a major stake in Heathrow Airport.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that the Australian investment giant was thinking about buying out several of Heathrow’s existing shareholders.

In November, Heathrow’s largest investor Ferrovial agreed to sell off its long-held stake in the airport to Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund Ardian in a £2.4bn deal.

It subsequently emerged that so-called “tag-along” rights had enabled three other shareholders to request the sale of their stakes under the same conditions. These were the Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt, Singapore wealth fund GIC, and the UK’s Universities Superannuation Scheme.

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Up to 60 per cent of Heathrow shares are up fro grabs and a number of major investments firms are reportedly contemplating offers.

But Macquarie has denied claims it was “poised to leapfrog Ardian and become the linchpin” in discussions to buy the stakes of the three shareholders plotting an exit.

“Macquarie Asset Management is not currently considering an acquisition of a stake in Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited,” a spokesperson told City A.M.

Any tussle for Heathrow would come as Macquarie looks to shake off lingering criticism over its role in the crisis engulfing Thames Water.

Britain’s largest water firm is currently facing collapse amid a collosal debt pile, which more than tripled under Macquarie Group’s ownership.

Heathrow has also struggled with debts in recent years, which sit at around £16bn following a chequered recovery from the pandemic.