Newcastle International Airport confirmed that it has completed a project to refinance its bank debt, negotiating a new term loan facility of £233 million in an arrangement that will reduce the Airport’s overall amount of loan interest paid.
The refinancing has been agreed well in advance of the expiry of the previous financing arrangements which were arranged in 2012. Since then the Airport has committed approximately £40 million in capital developments such as radar replacement and improvements to customer facilities and its retail offering.
The process has been carried out with the Airport’s advisors, RBS Advisory (Financial) and Allen &amp; Overy (Legal), and with support from AMP Capital and the Local Authority shareholders. Financing is being provided by a consortium of lenders which includes RBS, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank Limited, ING Wholesale Banking, Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) and MetLife Investments.
The new facility will result in the Airport paying a lower amount of interest each year after more favourable interest rate terms were negotiated. The loan is split into tranches between seven and twenty years which will offer enhanced protection against future interest rate rises and ensure continued investment to improve customer facilities and infrastructure, including a planned runway resurfacing. This ongoing investment ensures the Airport remains competitive and continues to attract airlines and new routes.
Nick Jones, Interim Chief Executive of Newcastle International said:
“We are pleased to announce that our refinancing project has been completed. We have created a platform which allows the airport to continue to deliver the facilities, infrastructure and connectivity that the North East needs. The project will help secure the long term success of the airport by maintaining its sound financial footing and provides a new capital expenditure facility, which is available to support our growth plans.”
Following the refinancing a total dividend of £43 million will be split between each of the Local Authority shareholders and AMP Capital. It is the first time since 2013 that shareholders have received a dividend.
Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council, and Chair of the LA7 Airport Holding Company, said:
“The completion of the refinancing is great news for the region. The airport has grown to become a very significant asset for the North East, contributing hugely to the economy, and providing the links that people and businesses need.”
Since 2012, passenger numbers at Newcastle Airport have grown by 10%, from 4.4 to over 4.8 million in 2016 (forecast.)