SOUTH KOREA/UK – The US private equity owner of Gatwick airport has confirmed that it will sell a 12% stake to South Korea’s state pension fund.
It is believed that the deal will net Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) a little less than £100m (US$160m).
The sale of the holding to South Korea's National Pension Service (NPS) is part of a process announced after GIP completed its £1.51bn purchase of Gatwick from BAA last October to sell minority stakes to a small number of investors, the firm said in a statement.
The investment reflects National Pension Service's desire to increase its exposure to international property, equities and commodities and reduce its large holding in domestic fixed-income investments.
It is the plan's second major property investment in the UK, agreeing to buy HSBC Holdings' London headquarters for £772.5m (US$1.3bn) in cash last November. (Global Pensions; November 16, 2009)
Last month, it bought an office building in Sydney for A$685m (then US$626m) to tap into Australia's rapidly rebounding economy. (Global Pensions; January 6, 2010) The deal was the largest in Australia's property market since December 2007.
GIP said it was pleased to have "one of the world's largest investors" as a partner but will retain the "controlling stake" in the UK's second busiest airport.
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