France’s Vinci to buy majority stake in London’s Gatwick

Gatwick “operates the busiest single runway in the world.” (File/AFP)
Updated 27 December 2018

France’s Vinci to buy majority stake in London’s Gatwick

  • Vinci said it would hold a 50.01-percent stake in Gatwick, which is Europe’s eight biggest airport
  • With the latest acquisition, Vinci Airports will control 46 airports in 12 countries with a total traffic of 228 million passengers a year

PARIS: France’s Vinci Airports on Thursday sealed a deal to acquire a majority share in London’s Gatwick airport, Britain’s second biggest, for 2.9 billion pounds (3.22 billion euros, $3.67 billion).
Vinci said it would hold a 50.01-percent stake in Gatwick, which is Europe’s eight biggest airport with a total passenger traffic of 45.7 million in 2018, by the first half of next year.
The other 49.99 percent will be held by Global Infrastructure Partners, the current owners.
Gatwick was forced to close its only runway repeatedly between last Wednesday and Friday due to reports of mystery drone sightings nearby, impacting nearly 140,000 passengers.
“The transaction represents a rare opportunity to acquire an airport of such size and quality and fits extremely well with Vinci Concessions’ long-term investment horizon,” a company statement said.
Gatwick “operates the busiest single runway in the world. In 2017, it hit a world record of 950 flights in a day. The airport constantly innovates in all areas of operations (for example passenger self-baggage drop, aircraft queing systems, parking products) and reaches very high level of operational efficiency,” the statement said.
“The whole Vinci Airports network will benefit from Gatwick Airport’s world-class management and operational excellence, which has allowed it to deliver strong and steady growth in a very constrained environment,” Nicolas Notebaert, Vinci Airports chief said.
With the latest acquisition, Vinci Airports will control 46 airports in 12 countries with a total traffic of 228 million passengers a year.
The French firm recently acquired airports in Brazil, Japan and Serbia.


Gulf Marine CEO quits after review sparks profit warning

Updated 22 August 2019

Gulf Marine CEO quits after review sparks profit warning

  • Tensions in the Arabian Gulf, a worrisome global growth outlook and uncertainty over oil prices have recently dampened investor confidence

DUBAI: Gulf Marine Services said on Wednesday Chief Executive Officer Duncan Anderson has resigned as the oilfield industry contractor warned a reassessment of its ships and contracts showed profit would fall this year, kicking its shares 12 percent down.

The Abu Dhabi-based offshore services specialist said a review by new finance chief Stephen Kersley of its large E-class vessels operating in Northwest Europe and the Middle East pointed to 2019 core earnings of between $45 million and $48 million, below $58 million that it reported last year.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that Anderson, who has served as CEO for 12 years, was asked to step down. Anderson could not be reached for comment.

The company, which in the past predominantly operated in the UAE, expanded operations and deployed large vessels in the North Sea and Saudi Arabia nine years ago and listed its shares in London in 2014.

Tensions in the Arabian Gulf, a worrisome global growth outlook and uncertainty over oil prices have recently dampened investor confidence.

The North Sea has seen a revival in production in recent years due to new fields coming on line and improved performance by operators following the 2014 oil price collapse.

Still, the basin’s production is expected to decline over the next decade, according to Britain’s Oil and Gas Authority.

“(The CFO’s) review has coincided with a pause in renewables-related self-propelled self-elevating support vessels activity in the North Sea, which will impact several of the higher day-rate E-Class vessels,” Investec wrote in a note.

Gulf Marine appointed industry veteran Kersley as chief financial officer in late May as it sought to halt a slide which has seen the company’s shares fall nearly 80 percent last year and another 23 percent so far this year.

The company said market conditions remained challenging and that it was still in talks with its financial advisors regarding a new capital structure.

“Management, the new board and the group’s advisors, have been in negotiation with the group’s banks on resetting its capital structure and progress has been made,” it said in a statement.

Last year, Gulf Marine said contracts were delayed into 2019 as the company was seen to be in breach of certain banking covenants at the end of 2018.

The company said it was still in talks with its banks and individual lenders with hopes of getting a waiver or an agreement to amend the concerned covenants.