Brussels, 15 March 2019
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), via Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 1 (MEIF1) and Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 3 (MEIF3), has reached an agreement to sell its 36 per cent interest in Brussels Airport Company (Brussels Airport) to a consortium of APG, QIC and Swiss Life. MEIF1 and MEIF3 are closed-end funds that have reached the end of their investment terms.
During MIRA’s long-term investment, Brussels Airport has been transformed into a leading European transport and logistics hub. The airport now contributes more than €3.2 billion in added economic value to Belgium each year and is one of the largest sources of employment in the country.
MIRA acquired its initial stake as part of the airport’s privatisation in 2004. During MIRA’s ownership period, more than €1 billion of capital has been invested in the airport resulting in: a major terminal upgrade and re-configuration works to improve passenger flows and connection times; substantial expansion of the airport’s retail space and offerings; the development of an airport business district and world-class cargo facilities; and initiatives to reduce the airport’s environmental impact.
This significant investment has seen total passenger numbers increase by over 60 per cent to 25.7 million in 2018. The airport’s route network has grown, with travelers now able to choose from 248 destinations served by 80 airlines. The airport has also delivered a significant reduction in its environmental impact – achieving the highest possible Airport Carbon Accreditation certificate (carbon neutral) from the Airport Council International in 2018.
Leigh Harrison, Head of MIRA EMEA, said: “During our 15-year investment, Brussels Airport has become one of the largest and best-connected airports in Europe. Alongside the management team we helped unlock the potential of this vital piece of infrastructure – enabling more passengers and freight to fly with greater choice than ever before, whilst significantly reducing the airport’s environmental impact transforming it into a carbon-neutral transport and logistics hub.”
The sale agreement is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to reach completion by the end of 2019. MIRA was advised by JP Morgan and Shearman & Sterling / Baker McKenzie.