A Chinese government representative is to sit on the board of Heathrow Airport's parent company after the country's sovereign wealth fund took a 10% stake in the company for £450m.
The China Investment Corporation, which manages Beijing's foreign exchange reserves, has bought the stake in Heathrow Airport Holdings (formerly BAA), which also owns Stansted, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports.
More than half of CIC's stake is being sold by Heathrow's biggest shareholder, the Spanish construction group Ferrovial, whose ownership of the airport operator will fall to 34%, said The Times.
Iñigo Meirs, Ferrovial's chief executive, said the sale was part of the group's "diversification strategy" of spreading its financial exposure across a broader range of assets in Europe and the US.
The Chinese presence on the 14-member Board could make it easier for airlines to launch more flights between London and China, said the newspaper report.
Heathrow Airport Holdings other shareholders include Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, Quebec's investment agency and a US fund, Alinda Infrastructure.
Meanwhile, a sale of Stansted Airport - which has been forced on the company by competition regulators - has been narrowed down to a shortlist of four possible buyers — Manchester Airports Group, New Zealand's Morrison & Co, the Australian bank Macquarie and the US buyout firm, TPG.
Thursday, November 1, 2012