Spanish airport operator Aena takes over the reins at Luton

Michael Bow
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AENA Aeropuertos, Spain’s biggest airport operator, will take control of Luton Airport this week when it inks a deal to boost its ownership of the transport hub.

Aena is set to increase its ownership of the site to 51 per cent from 40 per cent. The Spanish government, which currently owns Aena through its holding company Enaire, gave the green light for the deal late last month. A formal agreement is expected as soon as today.

The deal will coincide with the first step towards Aena’s privatisation, set to become Europe’s biggest new listing this year.

It is expected to unveil The Children’s Investment Fund Management – the London-based hedge fund run by investor Chris Hohn – Corporacion Alba and Ferrovial as cornerstone investors for the share offering. The three will buy 21 per cent of Aena in the float, which could value the company at up to £4bn.

The Spanish government has appointed several banks, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, to sell a further 28 per cent to public investors, with book building set to begin.

Shares will list on the Madrid stock exchange in mid-November.

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