Investcorp Invests in Sponsor of JFK Airport Terminal 6 Redevelopment Project

19 Feb 2024

Investcorp, the global alternative investment firm, is investing in the sponsor of the John F. Kennedy International Airport (“JFK”) new Terminal 6 Project (the “Project”). The investment in Corsair’s infrastructure business, now called Investcorp Corsair Infrastructure Partners (“Investcorp Corsair”), represents a newly formed partnership with Corsair Capital. Investcorp Corsair is the lead financial sponsor of the Project, and its wholly owned airports platform Vantage Airport Group (“Vantage”) serves as the developer, operator, and manager of the new terminal.

JFK is New York’s main hub for international traffic. In 2022, it served 69% of the region’s international passengers. JFK also has strong origin and destination (“O&D”) characteristics, with 72% of its passengers in 2022 representing O&D passengers. This is an important distinction as JFK draws on the size and strength of the larger New York market for its passenger traffic rather than relying on connecting passengers from airline routes. Due to JFK’s limited availability for new gates and congested airspace, the airport’s gate supply is expected to remain constrained over the next 10 years as demand increases, resulting in strong supply-demand characteristics.

The $4.2 billion Project will replace the current Terminal 7 with improved efficiencies and experiences for passengers by connecting international and domestic flights from Terminal 5 through a new 1.2 million-square-foot terminal. The new terminal will feature 10 gates with spacious waiting areas, including more than 100,000 square feet of commercial amenities, airline lounges, and two AirTrain stations. The Project has garnered airline commitments from JetBlue, the Lufthansa Group (including Swiss and Austrian Airlines), and Aer Lingus, as well as interest from prospective commercial concession operators.

Mohammed Alardhi, Executive Chairman of Investcorp, commented: “JFK is an iconic brand in aviation and has served as a cornerstone of international travel for over 75 years. We are grateful to be invested in one of the highest profile US infrastructure projects of our time and look forward to using the Investcorp Corsair platform as a catalyst for global growth in the years ahead.”

“JFK Terminal 6 presents a unique opportunity to support a landmark development project for critical infrastructure in one of the world’s busiest and most essential gateways for domestic and international travel,” said Hazem Ben-Gacem, Investcorp Co-CEO. “The Project is poised to benefit from compelling long-term macroeconomic and demographic tailwinds, including increasing travel and an affluent user base, as well as the latest advancements in technology, security, and sustainability.”

Construction of the Project will be executed in two phases, with Phase I currently underway for expected delivery in 2025 and Phase II slated for completion in late 2027. JFK’s existing Terminal 7 will remain actively in use through the construction of Phase I, under operation and management by the Vantage-led Project company JFK Millennium Partners (“JMP”), and will be demolished to make way for the next phase of development. JMP has signed a long-term lease agreement with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey that runs through 2060.

“This state-of-the-art project is poised to set the standard for thoughtfully designed and highly functional airport terminals in the United States,” said Hari Rajan, Managing Partner at Investcorp Corsair and Lead Director at Vantage. “The demand for airport gates at JFK is expected to remain extremely robust given lack of available supply and the challenges of developing new terminals, which few are expert enough to execute. Importantly, committed contracts from leading airlines and growing interest from prospective commercial operators provide meaningful visibility into forecasted revenue streams and stable long-term cash flow growth, supporting our strong confidence in the project.”

Investcorp Corsair is a $4.8 billion global investment firm focused on transportation, logistics, and associated infrastructure subsectors. The business continues to capitalize on the strong and growing demand for infrastructure assets around the world, leveraging a unique model that blends operating platforms with equity sponsorship, as well as a market-leading profile in infrastructure investing.

Vantage is a leading global airport developer, operator, and manager, and in addition to the Project, also led the recently completed $5.1 billion redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport Terminal B in New York. The new Terminal B at LaGuardia is one of the largest public-private partnerships in American aviation history, which was recognized by Skytrax as the world’s best new airport terminal in 2023 and the first terminal in North America to achieve the highest global 5-Star rating.