Report: GIP wants bonds for Gatwick refinancing

Global Infrastructure Partners’ Michael McGhee said at a conference yesterday that the fund was planning to issue bonds later this year to refinance a short-term loan it took out when it bought Gatwick airport for £1.51bn last year. The issue would be done in Gatwick’s name, not GIP’s.

Global Infrastructure Partners’ (GIP) Michael McGhee, based in London, said yesterday the fund is planning to tap the capital markets to secure a long-term refinancing for a loan it took last year to help buy Gatwick airport, Bloomberg reports.

Michael McGhee

“Our plan is to replace short-term bank debt with long-term bonds,” McGhee said on the sidelines of an airport conference held in London yesterday. He added the sale is planned for later this year, “if market conditions are good”, with the bonds being sold in Gatwick’s name and not GIP’s.

Specifically, McGhee is hoping to use the capital markets to refinance some £700 million (€797 million; $1 billion) of the £1.1 billion it borrowed from a syndicate of 12 banks last year to help finance the transaction.

GIP recently syndicated a 27 percent equity stake in Gatwick airport to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (15 percent) and South Korea’s National Pension Service (12 percent). The sales are said to have netted GIP around £225 million.

McGhee led the purchase of Gatwick airport from Spanish firm Ferrovial for £1.51 billion last year. That price was a discount from its £1.8 billion regulated asset value and a far cry from the £3 billion analysts said it could have fetched before air travel took a turn for the worse.