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Published on Monday, November 25, 2013

Prestwick Airport sold for a pound

Prestwick Airport has been sold to the Scottish government for £1.

The airport, which was put up for sale last year by New Zealand utilities investor Infratil, has incurred annual losses of £2m.

Following the sale to TS Prestwick Holdco Limited, which is wholly owned by the Scottish government, the airport is expected to operate as normal, with no job losses. .

Infratil has now exited its two British airports, following the sale of the Manston Airport in Kent last month  to Ann Gloag who co-founded the Stagecoach Group.

"Infratil's preference has always been to secure a new owner with the capacity to support the future success of Glasgow Prestwick Airport," Infratil CEO Marko Bogoievski said in a statement.

"We believe that a Scottish Government acquisition achieves that objective and Infratil Limited is very pleased to have successfully completed the transaction."

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the BBC that work would now begin for "turning Prestwick around and making it a viable enterprise".

She said: "It's a good decision and I'm glad we've reached this outcome, because it allows us to protect not just the asset of Prestwick Airport but the jobs that directly and indirectly depend on it."

She said the full terms of the agreement with Infratil and the Scottish government's business plan for the Ayrshire facility would be made public at a later date.

She added: "We would have preferred to see a private company buy Prestwick Airport but the strategic and economic importance of Prestwick Airport is such that we weren't prepared to see Prestwick close."

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