British billionaire who has given up to £200,000 to Extinction Rebellion ‘has £630m stake in owners of Heathrow airport’
- Sir Christopher Hohn has given the biggest individual sum to the activists
- He also has a major holding in the owners of Heathrow Airport, Ferrovial
- Claimed there was an ‘urgent need’ for people to wake up to climate change
Sir Christopher Hohn (pictured above) is a big investor in Heathrow Airport, despite financially backing Extinction Rebellion
A British billionaire who donated £200,000 to climate activist group Extinction Rebellion also has a £630 million stake in the owners of Heathrow Airport.
The UK’s seventh biggest tax payer Sir Christopher Hohn, has so far given the biggest individual sum to the group, but also has a major holding in Ferrovial – one of the biggest European infrastructure companies in the world.
The hedge fund manager has a reputation for distributing his holdings in a number of small firms and it has now come to light that this particular holding could contradict his donation to the activists which have previously slammed air travel.
Through his charity The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and through his own personal wealth, he donated £200,000 after claiming there was an ‘urgent need’ for people to wake up to climate change.
Around £50,000 of the donation came from his own pocket, while the rest came from his charity.
Extinction Rebellion accepted a £200,000 donation from Sir Christopher (activists pictured in London on October 18)
Just last year Sir Christopher was rocked by a divorce battle with wife Jamie Cooper, and ended up paying out £300 million.
Despite this, Heathrow isn’t the only space he has investments and according to the Telegraph, he is also one of three cornerstone investors in Spanish airports group Aena.
The aviation sector has come under increasing pressure from activists, due to the carbon footprint left by flights.
MailOnline contacted Extinction Rebellion this afternoon in order to understand what the group’s policy is on donations coming in from individuals who have investments in areas which seem somewhat against their mantra.
Sir Christopher has a major holding in the owners of Heathrow Airport (pictured above)
Earlier this month Extinction Rebellion protesters glued themselves to planes at London City Airport and also disrupted tube lines in London.
On October 10, Sir Christopher admitted he had been a ‘personal funder’ of the group.
‘I recently gave them £50,000 because humanity is aggressively destroying the world with climate change and there is an urgent need for us all to wake up to this fact’, he said.
This is while the charity are thought to have pledged a further £150,000.
These concerns would weigh on the growth of the airline industry, yet TCI, the investment manager behind Sir Hohn’s master fund, is also the second biggest investor in Getlink, the owner of Eurotunnel.
In 2016, Spanish company Ferrovial led the buy-out of Heathrow, and is still its biggest investor.
Sir Christopher’s investment in Ferrovial has sparked further questions as to whether or not TCI identified a mispricing with public markets, with private investors valuing their own businesses at higher rates.
In the UK, Ferrovial had also been caught up in a row about a £2.7bn highways contract between UK services arm Amey and Birmingham council.
Sir Christopher is the son of a Jamaican car mechanic and made his millions through private equity.
MailOnline were unable to reach TCI this afternoon.