Manchester Airports Group raises £350m with bond

Manchester Airports Group (MAG), the operator of Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports, said on Thursday it raised £350 million in the UK capital markets.

MAG said it issued of a 25 year bond at an interest rate coupon of 2.875% and said the order book for the bond was four times oversubscribed, totalling £1.4 billion.

MAG said it plans to use the proceeds of the bond to fund “the significant and transformational capital investment programmes that the group is undertaking at its airports” as well as for general corporate purposes.

“For example, the Manchester Airport Transformation Programme (MAN-TP) is well underway, having started in 2017, with a new pier and multi-storey car park, as part of an expanding Terminal 2, now fully operational.

“Overall, the £1 billion programme of work will allow the airport to serve more passengers in its terminals and make fuller use of its current runway capacity.

“Meanwhile, the London Stansted Airport Transformation Programme (STN-TP) was started in 2018.

“The next phase will involve the completion of work on eight new aircraft stands, new check-in desks, the completion of a multi-storey car park and upgrading the hold baggage screening system.”

MAG chief financial officer Neil Thompson said: “The success of the bond is a testament to the strong financial performance of the group over several years.

“The bond was supported by almost all the key blue-chip UK institutional investors and demonstrates the confidence those investors have in the future growth strategy for MAG and its track record.

“Our significant investments at Manchester and London Stansted airports, are already well underway, and are already improving the experience for passengers and airlines using our airports.

“Looking ahead, the investments we are delivering will be transformative and allow our airports to further unlock their significant future growth potential.”

MAG mandated HSBC as arranger and active bookrunner on the transaction, alongside NatWest Markets.

Barclays, BNP Paribas, MUFG and NAB also acted as passive bookrunners.

Co-managers were CIBC and Handelsbanken.

In addition, Linklaters acted as MAG’s legal counsel, whilst A&O acted for the bookrunners.