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« Night flying fuels fresh Manston airport fight | Main | Manston airport sale "not ruled out" »

Manston is sellable

New Zealand sacrificial lamb steaks

The chief executive of Infratil has not ruled out selling stakes in Manston airport if a buyer can be found, according to a business website. Marko Bogoievski is quoted on www.stuff.co.nz in an article prompted by the New Zealand based company posting big business losses.

The website reports that analysts said Infratil's European airports, including Kent International Airport and Glasgow Prestwick, and energy developments were the most likely assets to go on the block.

Infratil Airports Europe posted an $18.9m loss compared with $1.2m of earnings the previous year. it claimed, adding that Infratil's investments as a whole returned $356.3m compared with $315.9m the year before. Earnings were up at its three major investments, TrustPower, Infratil Energy Australia and Wellington Airport.

Mr Bogoievski is quoted as saying he did not rule out selling stakes in Manston and Glasgow Prestwick if buyers could be found adding: “In the meantime you do what you can control and that's the operating cost structures of those businesses.”

Apart from the consistent mis-spelling of 'steak', the thrust of the message has a sad inevitability about it. Infratil over-reached themselves, expanding into foreign markets they didn't fully understand, which lead to them making poor buying choices. Manston is in the wrong place, and failed to make money for Infratil even in the recent air transport boom years.

Manston has gone from white elephant to lame duck to dead in the water, and Infratil are smiling hard and pointedly not holding their nose as they try to sell it, any of it, to anyone.

Reader Comments (6)

Lets hope the Kent Wildlife Trust can get the money...

Sat, May 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I take “In the meantime you do what you can control and that's the operating cost structures of those businesses.” To mean running Manston without any of the expensive environmental safeguards that the environment agency want.

Sat, May 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Child

That's my guess, Michael. The Infratil 2009 results presentation says that the plan for Manston and Prestwick is "minimise holding costs until the market recovers". I guess that will mean no improvement in noise monitoring; no improvement in the radar capability; no sensible protection for the aquifer, etc. I'm also guessing that a proper, independent, environmental assessment of the kind that was mooted a few years ago also has no chance of being commissioned. Looks like we're in for status quo as far as our environment is concerned. Oh, nearly forgot, plus, if Infratil get what they want, the added pleasure of more noise at night.

Sat, May 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDapple Grey

As I've posted many times, Infratil are just tring to max out the value of what they have, in order to be 'attractive' to potential bidders.

More reason to keep up the pressure on TDC.

( Cruddy Bungalow for sale: Comes with planning permission for extension into Regency Mansion )

Sat, May 23, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Surely Infratil knew there were towns at either end of the runway (with night flying restrictions) when they moved to Manston? These towns were there long before the airport. If they don't like it they should go somewhere else.

Sun, May 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

For another angle on this sad tale, see the very fine http://ramsgatenews.blogspot.com/2009/05/manston-for-sale-soon.html" rel="nofollow" rel="nofollow">
Ramsgate News.

Mon, May 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMr. Earplugs

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