Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR), the parent company of Vantage Airport Group (Vantage), today announced the subsidiary’s exit from Liverpool John Lennon Airport after four years in the UK market. Vantage continues to operate nine airports around the world and remains well-positioned for new acquisitions and future growth.
“Vancouver Airport Authority was faced with a difficult decision: invest further funds in a venture that has already lost a significant amount of equity, or exit the project altogether,” said Craig Richmond, President & CEO Vancouver Airport Authority. “The right business decision for the Airport Authority and Vantage was to exit the investment in Liverpool John Lennon Airport.”
Vantage significantly improved the customer experience and airline operations at Liverpool Airport, however the airport was challenged by the poor economic climate, tough regulatory regime and a highly competitive market.
YVR reported a $49.7 million write-down and loss on this investment in its 2013 consolidated financial statements, which include the results of all of YVR’s subsidiaries. The operational and financial position of YVR remains unaffected. YVR maintains a AA credit rating; this is the second-highest airport rating in the world. Funds for the initial investment in Liverpool came from the 50 per cent sale of YVR’s shares in Vantage Airport Group in 2008 to Citi Infrastructure Investors. Today, YVR retains 50 per cent ownership in Vantage and appoints four of the eight Directors to its Board. Vantage remains a strong investment for Vancouver Airport Authority.
Vancouver Airport Authority created Vantage Airport Group in 1994 to market the expertise, operating philosophies and leading edge systems developed at YVR. This model provides excellent opportunities to learn from other airports, undertake personnel development and showcase the skillsets of British Columbia to the world. During the past 20 years, Vantage has owned and operated more than 25 airports. Its current portfolio includes airports in Cyprus, Jamaica, Chile, The Bahamas and Canadian airports in Fort St John, Kamloops, Hamilton and Moncton. Vantage is actively pursuing new airport opportunities.