A silver lining or a darker cloud?
Rising debts force sale of Newcastle Airport
Newcastle International Airport is 51% owned by seven local authorities including our own South Tyneside, the remaining 49% is owned by Copenhagen Airports International. According to unconfirmed reports in the Sunday Times the airport’s loan of some £320m is due for repayment in December 2013.
The report alleges that the airport has been put up for sale by our local councils, whilst the CEO of Copenhagen Airports Rasmus Christiansen says:
“We don’t comment on market speculation. We are often approached by airport investors but we are not in a formal process to sell Newcastle.”
What is not clear is whether the seven local authorities and Copenhagen Airports would be liable to clear the debts prior to a possible sale, or whether a prospective new owner would buy the debt too. This liability may hamper a possible sale, or hang a heavy millstone around the necks of thousands of council tax payers.
It must be hoped that KPMG can pull a rabbit out of the hat.
Watch this space!