Walsh accuses Heathrow of using scare tactics

Walsh accuses Heathrow of using scare tactics

IAG boss Willie Walsh has claimed a stake taken in Heathrow by a major pension fund last week proved the airport is propagating scare stories about its future.

Last week the Universities Superannuation Scheme bought an 8.65% stake from Spanish investor Ferrovial.

The deal was said to be worth £392 million and represented a 13% premium to Heathrow’s Regulatory Asset Base which is used to value the airport, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Walsh, the boss of British Airways' parent company, said this was proof that investors are not being put off investing in Heathrow as it has suggested.

“Without question there is no shortage of investors who would be willing to take a stake in Heathrow,” he said.

“It is almost insulting that they announce the sale of a stake to a significant player like USS at the same time that they have been arguing that if they don’t get excessive reward at Heathrow, investors will leave.”

The latest spat comes amid arguments over how much Heathrow should be allowed to charge airlines and threats from BA to shift aircraft to competing airports.

A Heathrow spokesman told the newspaper: “There is no new capital investment for Heathrow as part of the USS transaction.

“One investor has sold, another has bought. Shareholders have not yet made anything approaching a market return on equity.”

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