Aena In Talks To Fully Acquire Luton Airport; It Already Holds 51%

Aena may increase its stake in the UK's Luton airportAena may increase its stake in the UK's Luton airport

Aena may be studying the possibility of increasing its stake in the UK’s Luton airport (it has a preferential option) after its current partner, the fund Ardian, has shown interest in getting rid of its stake. Ardian and Aena bought 100% of the airport from Abertis in 2013 for 508 million euros. Aena currently owns 51% of Luton airport and it represents about 1% of the group’s EV. Luton is the UK’s fifth biggest airport.

Renta4’s analysts put a value of 310 million euros on the 50% stake, while Bankinter believes that it would require a bit more of an investment, around 325 million euros for 49%. That said, the recent extension of the concession until 2031 and agreements with some airlines like Easy Jet could justify a slightly higher multiple. Experts at Renta4 explain:

“It’s an asset which is working very well and its outlook, after the workforce adjustment, is very positive. So we think it would be a good thing to buy 100% of the asset, as long as the prices are not too high.”

In fact, in 2017, Luton airport generated revenues of 205 million euros and EBITDA of 58.7 million, which AENA would fully consolidate. This would mean additional revenues of 100 million euros (2.5% of the group total) and additional EBITDA of 29 million euros (1.2% of the total).

And finally, with a Financial Debt/EBITDA ratio of 2.8x and a strong cash generation capacity, Bankinter assumes that AENA can make this acquisitionwhich is accretive for group results.”