Gateway Development Alliance to take a stake in MAHB as Asset Managers and SWFs influence its future

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If anyone thought that Global Investment Partners, which is going through a takeover by BlackRock Alternative Investors, was starting to step back from the airport sector following whole or partial disposals in the UK, the announcement that it has joined a consortium to take equity in, and collectively delist, Malaysia Airports (MAHB) shows that they need to think again.

The consortium it has entered, Gateway Development Alliance, along with the Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) Khazanah Nasional, and Abu Dhabi's SWF, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, is one that has it in its power to solve any immediate financial concerns at MAHB. Also to sort out the resurrection of the Subang Airport at Kuala Lumpur, which has been identified as an 'airport city' prospect, and finance the development of new and existing airports, which are themselves gateways to Malaysia's tourism offer.

That just leaves Kuala Lumpur International, the main gateway and hub, which is actually doing a whole lot better than people might believe. It has a passenger growth record that has outstripped its peers and rivals regionally over the decade to 2019.

MAHB also owns a Turkish asset, Sabiha Gökçen (Istanbul's second airport), which has been a big achiever consistently over the past two decades but is not going to be the target of new funds that will be directed at the Malaysian airports, as its existing shareholders there would no doubt prefer.

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This article was written on 18-May-2024.