Manchester Airports Group in £340m property sale

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) said on Friday it will make proceeds in excess of £340 million in the sale of “non-core” properties to Columbia Threadneedle Investments.

MAG operates Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports and is privately managed on behalf of its shareholders — Australian investment fund IFM Investors (35.5%), Manchester City Council (35.5%) and nine other Greater Manchester councils (29%).

MAG CEO Charlie Cornish said: “Realising value from our non-core property portfolio to invest in our core growth areas has been a key component of our growth strategy for a number of years.

“The current process began prior to the impact of COVID-19 and we are pleased to complete this sale despite these challenging circumstances, complementing MAG’s financial response to COVID-19.

“We wish the new owners every success and are confident that the property portfolio and development interests will continue to flourish and support the local economy as we focus on continued growth at Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports.”

Manchester Airport Group Funding plc said in a stock exchange statement: “The issuer’s parent, Manchester Airport Group Investments Limited (MAGIL) has entered into an agreement to sell its entire shareholding in MAG Investment Assets Limited (MAGIAL) to Columbia Threadneedle Investments.

“MAGIAL owns non-core property portfolio situated on and around the sites of Manchester, East Midlands and London Stansted Airports.

“As part of the same transaction, Airport City (Manchester) Ltd, a subsidiary of MAGIL’s ultimate parent Manchester Airport Holdings Limited, sold a 50% stake in its investment in the Airport City Manchester development, retaining a 20% interest. 

“As at 31 March 2020, MAGIL had net assets held for sale, disclosed as discontinued operations in the Annual Report and consolidated financial statements of MAGIL in anticipation of the strategic sales, of £370.1 million and generated £28.9 million of rental revenue in the 12 months ended 31 March 2020, representing 3.2% of total revenue across the MAGIL Group.

“This transaction accounts for 86% of the £28.9 million revenue element of assets held for sale.

“The net combined proceeds, after fees and expenses, were in excess of £340 million.

“The remaining non-core property assets are subject to a separate disposal strategy.”