Luton Airport IPO: Owner Aena Aeropuertos gears up for jumbo market debut

Luton Airport's owner Aena Aeropuertos has appointed banks in the first step to listing
Europe's biggest stock market listing this year is on the cards after the huge owner of London Luton Airport appointed a host of banks to get the firm ready for a £4bn-plus issue in November.

Spanish firm Aena Aeropuertos is gearing up to become a fully-listed public company after the Spanish government announced plans to sell a 49 per cent stake in the business to outside investors.

Just over a fifth will be sold to so-called cornerstone investors, which promise to buy into the issue at any price.

Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) and Banco Santander have been appointed to lead the float.

London Luton Airport, which shot to fame in 1976 Campari TV advert featuring Lorraine Chase, saw passenger numbers increase to 9.7m last year, making it one of the top six busiest airports in the UK.

As well as London Luton Airport, Aena Aeropuertos also manages 46 airports and two helipads in Spain, making it the largest airport operator in the country. It also owns airports in Central and South America. Overall, Aena saw 187.4m passengers use its airports in 2013.

The listing would dwarf the recent £3.3bn privatisation of Royal Mail in the UK, when the UK government sold its stake in the business to private investors.

Lazard is advising on the sale of Aena Aeropuertos. It also advised on the sale of Royal Mail.

Aena was first put up for a listing back in 2011 but the plan was shelved due to Spain’s worsening economy.

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