Liverpool John Lennon Airport welcomed its newest airline today with the arrival from Reykjavik of the first flight to and from Liverpool by new Icelandic low-cost carrier PLAY.
London, 17 September 2019 – Ancala Partners LLP (‘Ancala’), the independent infrastructure investment manager, today announces that it has completed the acquisition of a 45% interest in Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) for an undisclosed sum on behalf of its funds.
Ancala has purchased 35% of the airport from Peel Group (‘Peel’), one of the UK’s leading private real estate investment and infrastructure companies, and 10% from Liverpool City Council (LCC). Peel and LCC retain 45% and 10% interests respectively.
Liverpool John Lennon is the UK’s 12th busiest airport, serving over 5m passengers in 20181. In July 2019, LJLA was awarded the UK’s only five-star airport rating2 for flight punctuality, underlining its reputation as one of the UK’s best airports for efficiency, ease of use and quality of customer experience.
Ancala believes LJLA is ideally placed to serve the regional economy and has outstanding potential for growth through attracting further capacity from new and existing carriers and building on its non-aeronautical services offering including commercial, retail and car parking.
Spence Clunie, Senior Partner, Ancala, commented:
“Transport infrastructure is a highly promising segment of the market, so we are delighted to be acquiring a stake on behalf of our investors in such a prestigious regional airport. LJLA has already seen substantial growth in recent years and we see strong prospects for this continuing.
“We look forward to growing our partnership with the Peel Group, with whom we have a strong track record of creating value in infrastructure assets. Our aim is to work with Peel to make LJLA the first choice for passengers across the region, delivering new routes and services.”
Steven Underwood, Chief Executive, The Peel Group, commented:
“The successful track record we share with Ancala was a key factor in selecting them as our partner for LJLA. By building on the airport’s already exceptional operational standards and passenger experience, we aim to be best in class in all respects and to deliver increased value for all our stakeholders.”
In March 2018, LJLA announced its Strategic Vision to 2030, which included plans to serve more destinations and to increase passenger numbers to 8m a year. It included an expansion of the terminal building; additional car parking and passenger facilities, including hotels, retail, food and drink services.
Ancala and Peel Group announced in May 2017 the launch of a joint venture to establish Leep Utilities, an independent multi-utility operator. Ancala acquired a 50% share in part of Peel’s existing utilities business, which owns and operates a range of private and regulated ‘last mile’ electricity, water and district heating utility assets. Leep provides a platform offering a complete utilities solution to new residential and commercial developments.
1Source: UK Civil Aviation Authority
2Source: OAG, one of the world’s leading air travel intelligence companies
Notes to Editors
About Ancala Partners
Ancala Partners (‘Ancala’) is an independent infrastructure investment manager focused on delivering enhanced returns from core mid-market infrastructure investments. It invests in and manages businesses across infrastructure sectors including utilities, energy, transportation, telecommunications and midstream. Ancala adopts a proactive approach to the origination and asset management of investments to create value for its investors.
For more information, please visit www.ancala.com
About the Peel Group
Investing for tomorrow: The Peel Group is one of the UK’s foremost privately-owned investment enterprises. Its strategy embraces a broad range of sectors - land and property; transport and logistics; retail and leisure; energy and utilities, with assets owned or under management of more than £5 billion. Group investment policy is focused on actively managing its diverse portfolio, enhancing the quality of its assets and recycling capital over the long-term.
Lufthansa’s new service to Frankfurt takes off from Liverpool John Lennon Airport, bringing the return of global connectivity for the city for the first time in over 10 years.
A new service by PLAY airlines will connect Liverpool with Reykjavík and four eastern US cities.