Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets reaches agreement to sell 36% stake in Brussels Airport

Brussels, 15 Mar 2019

  • Sale follows 15-year investment period.
  • Acquiring consortium consists of APG, QIC and Swiss Life.

Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), via Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 1 (MEIF1) and Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 3 (MEIF3), has reached an agreement to sell its 36 per cent interest in Brussels Airport Company (Brussels Airport) to a consortium of APG, QIC and Swiss Life. MEIF1 and MEIF3 are closed-end funds that have reached the end of their investment terms.

During MIRA’s long-term investment, Brussels Airport has been transformed into a leading European transport and logistics hub. The airport now contributes more than €3.2 billion in added economic value to Belgium each year and is one of the largest sources of employment in the country.

MIRA acquired its initial stake as part of the airport’s privatisation in 2004. During MIRA’s ownership period, more than €1 billion of capital has been invested in the airport resulting in: a major terminal upgrade and re-configuration works to improve passenger flows and connection times; substantial expansion of the airport’s retail space and offerings; the development of an airport business district and world-class cargo facilities; and initiatives to reduce the airport’s environmental impact.

This significant investment has seen total passenger numbers increase by over 60 per cent to 25.7 million in 2018. The airport’s route network has grown, with travelers now able to choose from 248 destinations served by 80 airlines. The airport has also delivered a significant reduction in its environmental impact – achieving the highest possible Airport Carbon Accreditation certificate (carbon neutral) from the Airport Council International in 2018.

Leigh Harrison, Head of MIRA EMEA, said: “During our 15-year investment, Brussels Airport has become one of the largest and best-connected airports in Europe. Alongside the management team we helped unlock the potential of this vital piece of infrastructure – enabling more passengers and freight to fly with greater choice than ever before, whilst significantly reducing the airport’s environmental impact transforming it into a carbon-neutral transport and logistics hub.”

The sale agreement is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to reach completion by the end of 2019. MIRA was advised by JP Morgan and Shearman & Sterling / Baker McKenzie.


Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets

Nicole Grove
+44 77 6545 2193

Patrick Gallagher
+44 7795 353820

About Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets

Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) is one of the world’s leading alternative asset managers. For more than two decades, MIRA has partnered with investors, governments and communities to manage, develop and enhance assets relied on by more than 100 million people each day. As at 30 September 2018, MIRA managed €111.4 billion in assets that are essential to the sustainable development of economies and communities, including; 148 portfolio businesses, ~400 properties and 4.5 million hectares of farmland.

MIRA is a part of Macquarie Asset Management, the asset management arm of Macquarie Group, a diversified financial group providing clients with asset management and finance, banking, advisory and risk and capital solutions across debt, equity and commodities. Founded in 1969, Macquarie employs 14,869 people in 27 countries.

MIRA is a leading global investor in airport infrastructure and aeronautical services. In addition to its investment in Brussels Airport, MIRA currently manages investments in the primary airports serving Aberdeen, Glasgow, and Southampton in the UK and Cairns, Gold Coast, Hobart, Longreach, Mackay, Mount Isa, Perth, and Townsville in Australia.

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