The European Commission (EC) has given the green light for Danish investor Arbejdsmarkedets Tillaegspension (ATP) and Canada’s Ontario Teacher's Pension Plan Board (OTPP) to indirectly acquire a controlling stake Danish airports operator Copenhagen Airports.

Copenhagen Airports owns and operates Copenhagen’s main airport, Kastrup, which has seen 45% passenger growth since 2005. It also runs Roskilde, Copenhagen’s secondary airport.

ATP and OTPP, which both administer pensions, in September announced plans to buy Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA)’s stake in holding company Kastrup Airport Parents, which in turn owns 57.7% of Copenhagen Airports.

The DKK9.8 billion ($1.5 billion) transaction was approved by the EC Nov. 8, in line with original expectations for a fourth-quarter close.

“The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would raise no competition concerns given the transaction’s limited impact on the market structure,” the EC said, announcing its decision.

When the acquisition was originally announced, ATP and OTPP said they would launch a mandatory tender offer for the remaining shares in Copenhagen Airports once the initial stage was complete.

OTPP, which has been a Copenhagen Airports shareholder since 2011, describes itself as the largest private airports investor in Europe, with holdings in Birmingham, Bristol, Brussels, Copenhagen and London City airports.

On Oct. 31, OTPP announced plans to sell 30% of its stakes in both Bristol and Birmingham to Australian financial investors TCorp and Sunsuper. Before the deal, OTPP had full control of Bristol and 48.25% of Birmingham.

On completion, OTPP will still hold a 70% stake in Bristol Airport, with TCorp and Sunsuper each holding 15%. OTPP will also retain 33.8% of Birmingham Airport, while TCorp and Sunsuper will each own 7.2%.

Victoria Moores victoria.moores@penton.com