TORONTO – BUSINESS – Porter Aviation Holdings Inc. (PAHI) has completed the sale of its passenger terminal at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (BBTCA) to Nieuport Aviation Infrastructure Partners GP (Nieuport Aviation), a consortium of Canadian and international infrastructure equity investors.
Nieuport Aviation comprises InstarAGF Asset Management Inc. (InstarAGF), Kilmer Van Nostrand Co. Limited, Partners Group, and institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management. Nieuport Aviation encompasses long-term infrastructure owners and operators with a deep local presence, significant international expertise in managing aviation infrastructure, and a commitment to world-class client service.
PAHI operated terminal facilities at BBTCA through its subsidiary, City Centre Terminal Corp. (CCTC). Porter Airlines Inc., another PAHI subsidiary, will maintain and enhance its service at the airport in coming years.
“Nieuport Aviation is a seasoned airport operator that will deliver exceptional service at the terminal and help build on the existing overall superior travel experience for passengers,” said Robert Deluce, President and CEO, Porter Aviation Holdings Inc. “We will work closely with its management team over the next few months to ensure a seamless transition. This transaction further strengthens our core business with Porter Airlines and positions the company for continuing growth and success.”
“The terminal is a premier essential transportation infrastructure asset with an established operating history, robust contractual framework and positive long-term outlook,” said Gregory Smith, President and CEO, InstarAGF. “Studies show that travellers overwhelmingly choose BBTCA because of its convenience, efficiency and high service standards. With a focus on sustaining and elevating the passenger experience at the terminal, we look forward to building strong relationships with all stakeholders at BBTCA and to supporting its further development as a vital gateway for commerce and economic growth in the greater Toronto region.”
“Few, if any, international business capitals boast an ‘in city’ airport that matches the convenience of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport,” said Matt LeBlanc, Chief Investment Officer, OECD Infrastructure Equity Investments for J.P. Morgan Asset Management – Global Real Assets. “A stone’s throw from downtown, Billy Bishop’s location attracts business travellers, visitors and local passengers that ensure its long-term success. We look forward to carrying on the legacy of maintaining and enhancing this essential Toronto asset.”
“Kilmer has been building Ontario infrastructure for three generations, and is pleased to be adding its strong local operational support and development experience to this very qualified consortium. We believe in the customer-centered approach that is part of the travelling experience at BBTCA,” said Ken Tanenbaum, Vice Chair, Kilmer Group.
“Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is a highly attractive infrastructure asset in a stable market. Its close proximity to the city’s business district means it is ideally positioned to continue attracting its share of the business travel market,” added Todd Bright, Managing Director and Head of Americas Private Infrastructure, Partners Group.
BBTCA is the ninth busiest airport in Canada, serving 2.4 million passengers in 2014. The terminal is a state-of-the-art facility newly constructed by CCTC in 2010. The airport is a major economic engine for the Greater Toronto Area, generating approximately $1.9 billion in total annual economic impact and supporting approximately 5,700 direct and indirect jobs. It is accessible to about 6.6 million residents within a one-hour drive. In 2013, Billy Bishop Airport was recognized by Skytrax as one of the world’s best small airports.
The sale price of the terminal is undisclosed.
Nieuport Aviation was advised on the transaction by BMO Capital Markets and McCarthy Tétrault. Debt financing has been underwritten by The Bank of Nova Scotia, Caisse centrale Desjardins and National Bank of Canada.
PAHI’s financial advisers were Barclays Capital Canada and RBC Capital Markets, with legal advice provided by Norton Rose Fulbright.