Abu Dhabi is part of a joint venture making a bid for a 50 percent stake in Manchester airport, according to a report on Sunday.
Manchester Airport Group plans to raise about GBP1bn (US$1.6bn) by selling a 50 percent stake to fund its bid to buy London-based Stansted airport, the UK’s Sunday Times newspaper said without saying where it got the information.
Among those looking to acquire the stake are Australia-based Industry Funds Management, Hong-Kong-based Cheung Kong Holdings and a joint venture between UK-based investment firm 3i Infrastructure and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the report said.
The sale will be conditional on Manchester making a successful bid for Stansted, which BAA Airports may be forced to sell later this year, the report added.
The move would cement Abu Dhabi’s links with the north-western English city, which began in 2008 with the purchase of Manchester City Football Club by Sheikh Mansour’s Abu Dhabi United Group.
The Abu Dhabi royal is believed to have invested around US$1bn in the club and has announced plans to develop a US$158m training complex near its Etihad Stadium home.
Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, which announced a US$642m sponsorship deal of Manchester City Football Club last year, is planning to open its European headquarters in Manchester, which could lead to the creation of 300 jobs, the UK’s Sunday Telegraph said yesterday, citing anonymous sources.