View Full Version : Aeroport de Luton?

15th Aug 2001, 12:04
From the London Evening Standard.

"LUTON Airport and its sister airports in Belfast and Cardiff could fall into French hands after an opportunistic 500m bid by one of the world's largest construction firms.

Vinci today said it is considering making an offer for Luton Airport operator TBI after it last night snapped up the holding of TBI's major shareholder Schroders, giving the French a 14.9% stake.

Vinci, which was created last year by the merger of the construction arms of French utility giants Vivendi and Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux, said in a statement that it is considering a cash bid pitched at 90p a share.

It said: 'Vinci is hopeful that it can obtain the recommendation of the board of TBI for such an offer.”

It is understood that Vinci contacted TBI within the last fortnight after a profit warning sent its shares crashing. However, the French received no reply. The door though does not appear to be entirely shut to a deal. TBI's initial response ahead of an emergency board meeting was to tell shareholders to take no action and to 'wait for a considered response from the directors of TBI. '

The Vinci move, which caught TBI's advisers on the hop today, is pitched at a 50% premium to last night's closing price of 59 3/4p. However, prior to the profit warning the shares had been trading steadily around 90p.

The share price crash came after bmi British Midland said it would be withdrawing from TBI-owned Belfast International and moving to Belfast City Airport after a long-running row over the level of charges that TBI has been levying. TBI admitted British Midland's move would cost it 2m in profits this year and 6m in the full year for 2002-03.

Vinci, while an operator of airports in Mexico, China and Cambodia, is best-known as a world-leading construction company. In Britain it manages both bridges across the Severn, is involved in constructing and maintaining the link between the Cardiff Bay development and the Welsh capital and has contracts to repair and maintain 3,000 public buildings in Liverpool-The move is a blow for TBI chief executive Keith Brooks, who took control of Luton from Barclays Bank only in the spring.

He has voiced big ambitions for Luton, home to easyJet, the low-cost carrier with whom it has also been in a long-running row over charges.

Brooks said recently that he expected Luton to become a fully-fledged international airport within the next five years, handling up to 15m passengers."

Lou Scannon
15th Aug 2001, 15:52
I wonder where they will build the fully-fledged International runway?