Airport News

Airport News

British airports operator BAA said on Monday it had completed a GBP£2.75 billion (USD$4.24 billion) refinancing of its loan facilities for Heathrow and Stansted airports in London.

BAA, owned by Spanish group Ferrovial, said the new deal was made up of GBP£2 billion in credit and GBP£750 million in standby facilities. The new credit facilities mature in June 2017, and replace similar facilities that were due to mature in August 2013.

The owner of London Heathrow – Europe's busiest airport – said the bank deal would support its investment at Heathrow as well as its capital market activities.

"These new facilities provide BAA with the very strongest base for our investment programme to continue to improve Heathrow's critical infrastructure," BAA's director of treasury Fred Maroudas said.

"We have put together a new bank group that includes a carefully selected blend of the leading banks from the UK, continental Europe, the US, Canada and Australia."

The new facilities were heavily oversubscribed with around GBP£4 billion of commitments from 17 existing and new relationship banks from the UK and across the globe, BAA said.

Earlier this year BAA posted a 15 percent rise in first-quarter profit, squeezing more growth from its busy Heathrow hub and reiterated its plea to the UK government for permission to add capacity there.

In April, BAA completed the USD$1.3 billion sale of Edinburgh airport to Global Infrastructure Partners. The sale was forced on it by Britain's Competition Commission (CC) last year as part of a drive to loosen the firm's grip on the British airport market.

BAA has been granted permission to appeal a CC order to sell Stansted airport. It also owns Southampton in the south of England, and Glasgow  and Aberdeen airports in Scotland.