Airport to fly with new structure

Sydney Airport will buy out its minority shareholders in a $1.2 billion deal that will simplify its complex structure and make it easier for cornerstone investor Macquarie Group to eventually sell out.

Sydney Airport will buy out its minority shareholders in a $1.2 billion deal that will simplify its complex structure and make it easier for cornerstone investor Macquarie Group to eventually sell out.

The country's largest airport has also opted to settle a case with the Tax Office by paying $69 million. This removes a large degree of investor uncertainty hanging over the stock.

As part of the move to demystify its structure, the airport will buy out the 15.2 per cent it does not own.

The three-pronged deal announced on Wednesday will also result in the foreign-ownership cap on Sydney Airport rising from 40 per cent to 49 per cent.

Legg Mason research analyst Andrew Chambers said the change to the cap would make it easier for Macquarie, which has a 22 per cent stake, to exit the register in the longer term.

"It allows more room for foreign investors to acquire stakes ... and increases the likelihood of the Macquarie stake to be transacted," he said.

Sydney Airport chief executive Kerrie Mather said the deal helped to provide more certainty to investors, highlighting the lift in the foreign-ownership cap.

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