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Belfast City Airport sold to international investment fund as part of £700m deal

By John Mulgrew

The sale of Belfast City Airport to an international investment fund as part of a £700m deal has been completed, it can be revealed.

3i now owns the airport along with East Surrey Pipelines and a number of other assets which had been owned by fund EISER.

It's understood the deal, which has been in the works for around 18 months, completed on Thursday.

Former owners Eiser Global Infrastructure Fund, based in London, bought the airport for £132.5m in 2008.

It's understood the airport is expected to announce further investments as a result of the deal, in the coming months.

Brian Ambrose, chief executive of Belfast City Airport, said:

"3i’s arrival is another important landmark in what has been an exciting period of expansion for the business.

"We have a stellar airline portfolio, including blue-chip brands such as KLM, Flybe, British Airways and Aer Lingus, and we are confident of continuing to grow our route network and the profitability of the business in years to come."

A new vehicle managed by 3i will have commitments of £700m available to fund the initial acquisition, the firm said.

The portfolio also includes a stake in Herambiente, an Italian waste treatment and disposal company, as well as stakes in four concession companies in Spain: two operating shadow toll roads and two operating Madrid bus terminal interchanges.

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