UK tech doyen Sir Peter Rigby appears to be emerging as a serious force in the UK airports industry after snapping up his third regional hub in five years.
The SCC founder said he hoped to increase the role of regional airports across the UK as Regional & City Airports (RCA), the airports management arm of Rigby Group, announced its acquisition of Norwich International Airport.
The deal follows on from its purchases of Coventry and Exeter airports, in 2010 and 2013 respectively.
Rigby may have made his name in the tech space with SCC but he appears to now harbour equally lofty ambitions for his burgeoning airports business, which already employs more than 650 people and manages over 1,000.
"Regional airports are vitally important to the economic development of regions, not just in the UK but across the world," he said.
"To survive and prosper, smaller regional airports need to co-operate and collaborate, enabling them to benefit from the economies of scale and sharing of best practice traditionally enjoyed by larger hub airports."
Operating flights to the likes of Amsterdam Schiphol and Manchester, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Jersey and Guernsey, Norwich International Airport handled 470,000 passengers last year.
As well as Norwich, Exeter and Coventry, RCA holds management contracts for both Blackpool International Airport and City of Derry Airport. It will "actively build its portfolio of owned or managed airport assets across the next five years".
Rigby Group is now a $1.8bn (£1bn) business with interests in six core areas: technology, airports, hotels, real estate, finance and aviation. The firm has made four other acquisitions in 2014, including SCC's purchase of £30m print VAR M2 Digital in February, which it positioned as the "first of many" in the tech sector.
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