The owner of Blackpool Airport, Balfour Beatty, has put its operating interests in the aviation site up for sale. Advisory firm Zolfo Cooper has been hired to manage the sale process. The consultants will in the coming months support the airport’s management with identifying potential targets and drafting an information memorandum.
The airport of Blackpool is one of the oldest aviation sites in the UK, having started its operations in 1909. The airport is located just off the M6, has good transport links to the attractions of the North West, including Cumbria and the Lake District, as well as the sights of Blackpool. Currently three scheduled airlines operate from the airport, as well as occasional charter holiday flights in the summer months. The largest operator of the airport is Jet2, which currently flies to 13 destinations. In addition to the holiday operators, there are also facilities for general and corporate aviation including aircraft and helicopter flying schools.
The owner of Blackpool Airport, Balfour Beatty, has announced that is aims at selling its operating interests in the site (managed by ‘Blackpool Airport Limited’)*. The news does not come as a large surprise – in line with its new strategy Balfour Beatty is offloading its interests in regional airports. Last year Balfour Beatty sold its remaining stake in Exeter International Airport, and now the firm is hoping to offload Blackpool Airport as well. In addition, since Balfour Beatty bought Blackpool Airport in 2008 for £14 million, the firm has ploughed nearly £30 million into the air terminal, yet despite the massive investments the airport has over the past six years generally been losing money. A price tag has not been disclosed.
To manage the sale process, Blackpool Airport Limited has brought in the expertise of Zolfo Cooper, a consulting firm specialised in management consultancy and financial advisory services. The consultants will on behalf of the Board of Directors identify potential acquirers, draft an information memorandum and if applicable facilitate the negotiation process. "We are pleased to have been appointed to this role and we will be working closely now with the management team of the airport to identify and evaluate appropriate expressions of interest," says Damian Malone of Zolfo Cooper.
In a press release Blackpool Airport Limited says that the sale process will have no impact on services and flights to and from the airport.
*Balfour Beatty owns 95% of the airport, the remaining 5% is owned by Blackpool Council. Following a potential sale, Balfour Beatty will continue to own the land on which the terminal stands.