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Sydney Airport sold for US$17.5 billion

sydney airport

Sydney Airport Holdings, the operator of Sydney Airport, has officially been sold to a consortium of infrastructure investors, after the Australian airport rejected two prior offers before mulling over a third, only to finally confirm the deal.

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Sydney Airport said it has agreed to accept a AU$23.6 billion (US$17.5 billion) takeover bid from a group of investors dubbed the ‘Sydney Aviation Alliance’ (SAA), led by IFM Investors, Q Super, AustralianSuper and United States-based Global Infrastructure Partners.

The agreement came after SAA raised its bid in response to the airport’s rebuttal of its earlier offers.

“The Sydney Airport Boards believe the outcome reflects appropriate long-term value for the airport, and unanimously recommend the proposal to securityholders, subject to customary conditions such as independent expert approval and no superior proposal,” Sydney Airport’s chairman David Gonski said in a statement.

For the sale to go through, the deal must undergo an independent expert’s report, receive approval from at least 75 percent of shareholders, and gain approval from the competition regulator — the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) — and from the Foreign Investment Review Board.

Sydney Airport’s board said that it plans to hold meetings about the deal in the first quarter of 2022.

Sydney Airport is Australia’s largest and only publicly listed airport. The airport said total passenger traffic in the first half of the year was down 36.4 percent to six million passengers, compared to 2020.

Sydney Airport is currently the only major airport hub in the city of Sydney, with Western Sydney Airport due to open in 2026.

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The Sydney Airport deal is Australia’s largest aviation deal in history and comes on the back of news that Australia would reopen its borders to international travel from 1st November.