Sunday 20 October 2019 4:12 pm

Extinction Rebellion patron buys stake in Heathrow Airport

A billionaire backer of Extinction Rebellion has been revealed to have a stake in Heathrow Airport.

Sir Chrisopher Hohn has clandestinely built a 4 per cent stake in Heathrow parent company Ferrovial worth €730m (£630m), according to the Sunday Telegraph.

Read more: Ferrovial makes bid to take trio of Britain’s regional airports

It was reported in May by Spain’s Banco de Sabadell that Hohn had bought a one per cent share in the Spanish construction and services company.

It has now been revealed that Hohn has bought a further three per cent share in Ferrovial.

The billionaire hedge fund manager revealed this month he was the largest individual backer of Extinction Rebellion thanks to £200,000 in donations.

The activist group organised mass protests over the past two weeks, some of which were aimed at London’s airports.

Three flights at London City Airport were disrupted, after one passenger lied on top of a British Airways plane on the runway and another forced a flight to turn around shortly after take-off.

Protest action at Gatwick Airport was cancelled after a group of protesters were attacked by commuters at Canning Town Tube station.

Despite this, Hohn has a history of investments in airports.

He is one of three largest investors in Spanish company Aena – the majority owner of Luton Airport.

His investment company, TCI, is the second-biggest investor in Eurotunnel owner Getlink.

Speculation is also rife that Hohn may be looking to significantly increase his share in Ferrovial.

The company’s UK-based construction company Amey is involved in an ongoing spat with Birmingham Council over a £2.7bn highways contract.

Ferrovial is now looking to sell Amey, after it paid the council £215m to walk away from its contract.

Forty per cent of shares in Ferrovial are owned by the four sons of its late founder Rafael del Pino y Moreno.

A source told the Sunday Telegraph that the sons are acting separately in managing their respective stakes in the company.

Read more: Hedge fund manager Sir Christopher Hohn reduces stake in London Stock Exchange

They said: “In a go-private situation, a buyer does not need to win over each sibiling, whereas in the past, a buyer effectively required the support of the founding father.”

Ferrovial were contacted for comment and TCI declined to comment.