Vinci Airports, a Vinci Concessions subsidiary, has agreed to buy 50.01% stake in London Gatwick Airport from Global Infrastructure Partners in a transaction valued at approximately £2.9 billion.

GIP, an independent infrastructure investor, will hold the remaining 49.99% interest in the airport. Vinci along with GIP will operate the Gatwick airport.

The deal will give French construction company access to one of the largest metropolitan aviation markets in the world. Vinci already operates 45 airports in 12 countries. The transaction is scheduled to complete in the first half of 2019.

Located south of London, Gatwick connects to 228 destinations in 74 countries. The airport welcomes more than 46 million travellers per annum.

The acquirer said that the transaction fits well with Vinci Concessions’ long-term investment horizon. Gatwick will become the largest single airport in Vinci Airports’ growing network worldwide.

Vinci Concessions CEO and Vinci Airports president Nicolas Notebaert said: “Creating synergies and sharing best practices being at the core of our values, the whole Vinci Airports network will benefit from Gatwick Airport’s world-class management and operational excellence, which has allowed it to deliver strong and steady growth in a very constrained environment.

“As Gatwick’s new industrial partner, Vinci Airports will support and encourage growth of traffic, operational efficiency and leverage its international expertise in the development of commercial activities to further improve passenger satisfaction and experience.”