Aberdeen Standard Investment’s AIPUT fund announces the acquisition of multinational car rental company, Sixt’s main Heathrow premises at Hatton Cross for just under £5 million.

The 1.5 acre freehold site, which Sixt will continue to use for both car rental and maintenance operations, sits directly opposite Hatton Cross Underground and Bus Station on the A30 Great Southwest Road, immediately adjacent to the airport perimeter fence. Sixt, a new tenant for AIPUT, has occupied the site for nearly 20 years.  Sixt plans to take the opportunity to further upgrade its facilities and operations at its Heathrow sites as it seeks to enhance the service and product offer it offers to its customers.

Commenting on the deal, AIPUT Fund Manager, Nick Smith, said:  “Our acquisition of this keystone site at Hatton Cross will enable AIPUT to work closely with Sixt in supporting the growth of their operations at Heathrow, benefitting from a site that enjoys ready access to all passenger terminals, central London and the rest of the South East.

“Hatton Cross is a leading asset location for AIPUT and this new property will dovetail well with AIPUT’s neighbouring airport logistics facilities, particularly the Radius Park estate. One of the fastest growing areas serving Heathrow, Hatton Cross provides an important point of access to the airport, readily supported by public transport.

“The Sixt site is an excellent strategic opportunity for us, with the potential to unlock further value for its investors in the near and long-term by enhancing the use of the site.  We see that it will play a valuable contribution to AIPUT’s plan to shape our real estate strategy to facilitate the continued introduction of automation and driverless vehicles in a wide range of airport services to deliver cleaner, safer and more efficient environments, as set out in our recent Airport of the Future Report.”

Aaron Kedward, Senior Property Manager at Sixt, commented: “Sixt rent a car are excited to be working with Aberdeen Standard Investments as part of our ambitious expansion and upgrade plans for the UK.

”Specifically at our Hatton Cross location, we will look to capitalise on the continuing success of Heathrow Airport as the UK’s No. 1 international transport hub and strive to find ways to impress our customers and serve them better than ever.”

The Airport of the Future report was produced jointly on AIPUT’s behalf by specialist UK aviation real estate consultancy, ChappellKing and Dornier Consulting International GmbH.  It highlighted the scale of progress and future potential for the adoption of automated transport and logistics technology at the UK’s airports, exploring the potential efficiency gains from automation across a plethora of airport-related functions such as cargo-handling, as well as passenger transportation both to and within airports.