Ontario Teachers’ Pension Boosts Stake in UK Airport


The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has increased its stake in Birmingham airport after the airport reported its busiest November on record.

The pension fund’s stake in the airport now totals 48 percent.

From the Financial Times:

The Birmingham deal comes a week after the regional airport said passenger numbers in November were the highest ever at 646,000, up 10 per cent on the previous year. It was the sixth record-breaking month in 2014 and the airport said it expected Christmas traveller numbers to be 7.4 per cent higher than last year.

“Birmingham airport is a high-quality asset that we know well. It has good growth prospects and we look forward to working with our partners to strengthen its position as a key regional airport in the UK,” said Andrew Claerhout, senior vice-president at Teachers’.

Birmingham is the UK’s seventh busiest airport with more than 9m passengers passing through its doors in 2013, according to the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority. Heathrow airport is the largest with 72m passengers, double the number of passengers of its nearest competitor, Gatwick.

Teachers’ first invested in Birmingham airport in 2001 and later acquired a joint 48.25 per cent stake with Victorian Funds Management Corporation in 2007 for £420m after the Dublin Airport Authority and Macquarie Airports Group sold their holdings.

The Canadian pension fund now has a sole 48.25 per cent stake, in addition to other airport investments in Copenhagen, Brussels and Bristol. Seven local district councils will continue to own a significant shareholding in the airport.

“We will continue to work with Teachers’ and the district shareholders with the shared goal of developing Birmingham airport’s connectivity to benefit both the region and the UK as a whole,” said Paul Kehoe, chief executive of Birmingham airport.

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan manages over $140 billion in assets.

Photo by  Caitlin ‘Caity’ Tobias via Flickr CC License