French company VINCI Airports has completed the acquisition of 50.01% of shares in London Gatwick airport in the UK.

The majority shareholding was acquired from Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) for $3.68bn. The remaining 49.99% will be managed by GIP.

The integration of London Gatwick airport, which is in line with the VINCI Concessions long-term investment strategy, will give VINCI an opportunity ‘to capture the growing demand for air transport worldwide’.

VINCI handles more than 240 million passengers per year. It operates 46 airports in 12 countries.

VINCI Airports president and VINCI Concessions CEO Nicolas Notebaert said: “London Gatwick’s integration into the VINCI Airports network is an excellent outcome for both organisations. Our synergies will lead to further tangible benefits for employees, passengers and airlines.

“The consolidation of a world-wide, industrial leader is also a positive step for the future of air transport. As a leader, VINCI Airports will help the sector to improve through its resilient, sustainable, innovative and customer-friendly airport network.”

London Gatwick is the second busiest airport in the UK and serves a total of 50 capital cities with 3,200 employees across the globe. It reported 4% growth in passenger numbers in the first quarter of 2019.

With the completion of the transaction, Cédric Laurier of VINCI Airports will join as chief technical officer.

London Gatwick chairman Sir David Higgins, CEO Stewart Wingate and CFO Nick Dunn will remain in their respective roles.

The transaction was financed by VINCI Group by borrowing and the sterling bond issue launched in March this year.