Saudi Arabia could take control of Heathrow

Saudi Arabia could become the majority owner of Heathrow Airport according to a report suggesting that fellow investors in the hub are ready to sell up.

The speculation comes after the country’s sovereign wealth fund together with French private equity firm Ardian recently agreed a deal to buy a 25 per cent stake in the airport for £2.4billion from Ferrovial.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is taking 10 per cent and Ardian 15 per cent and the stakes will be held separately though the PIF is also an investor in Ardian, the Sunday Times reported. 

Flying the flag: Saudi Arabia could become the majority owner of Heathrow Airport

Now, at least one other shareholder is reportedly close to selling, with others expected to follow suit.

‘At that price, we are a seller,’ one was quoted as saying.

Any such deal could stoke concerns about the growing control of Middle East investors over key UK assets.

According to the Sunday Times, while the Chinese, Qatari and Singapore funds who hold major stakes may choose to hold on, the other investors would sell, leaving the PIF and Ardian with nearly 60 per cent control of Heathrow.