The Australian owners of Newcastle airport have bought Leeds Bradford airport in a deal that is reported to be worth over £200m.
AMP Capital, the company which also has stakes in Melbourne and Port Hedland International airport, has acquired the business from Bridgepoint, its rival private equity house which has kept the site for five years.
According to sources close to the deal, AMP is believed to have paid an enterprise value, which includes the debt of the company, of £220m.
The airport is a major site for Jet2, low-cost carrier, and is also used by Ryanair as well as Eastern Airways, Flybe, and the IAG-owned Aer Lingus.
AMP said that the airport boasted a passenger catchment area of 5.3m people with nearly 3m of those living less than an hour from the site.
It added that the third largest city of United Kingdom, Leeds, was home to the largest financial and business services centre of the nation outside London suggesting that the demand for flights from the airport would continue to be buoyant.
In reports filed last month at the Companies House, LBIA Holding Limited, its parent company, reported passenger numbers of almost 3.7m for the year to March 31, an increase of 6pc from the last period.
Sales also grew 7.7pc to £31.7m helping drive adjusted earnings before taxes, interest, depreciation and amortisation to £8.3m. Exceptional costs and interest on loans meant it still reported a pre-tax loss of £6.3m. However, this was a reduction on the £10.1m loss from the last period.
Simon Ellis, AMP’s head of origination, Europe, for the firm, said that the Yorkshire and the Humber region was one of the fastest-growing regions in the United Kingdom with a population growth of 6pc since 2001 and that “there is also potential for further route development.”
A partner at Bridgepoint, Michael Davy, said that during its five years of ownership of the said airport, passenger numbers had increased by nearly 40pc and that £30m had been invested for the site’s development, including a terminal upgrade.
He continued that Ebitda had risen by above 25pc per annum.