Macquarie Airports to buy management rights for $281 million

Macquarie Airports (MAp), one of the world's leading private airport operators has reached an agreement with parent Macquarie Group (Macquarie) to buy management rights of the company for $281 million, a company press release to the Australian Securities Exchange said today.

Trading on MAp securities was suspended yesterday pending a significant announcement regarding the company's strategic options. The parent Macquarie, Australia's major investment banker also halted trading expecting that MAp action would affect its share price as well.

Before the trading halt, MAp shares soared 10.5 per cent to A$2.64 while Macquarie shares gained 4.8 per cent at A$41.80.

On behalf of MAp shareholders, the agreement has been negotiated by Macquarie Airports Management Ltd (MAML) and Macquarie Airports Ltd.

Chairman of the Independent Board Committee of MAML, Trevor Gerber said: ''We have examined a range of options to address the gap between the MAp security price and the value of MAp's airports and we have progressed a number of initiatives.''

We are confident that internalising management is an important further step towards reducing that gap and to growing value for all security holders,'' Gerber added.