BAA agrees to sale of Edinburgh Airport

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Published: April 24, 2012

In response to a ruling by the UK Competition Commission (CC), airport operator BAA has agreed to the sale of Edinburgh Airport (EDI) to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) for £807.2 million ($ 1.3 billion). The sale is expected to close by the end of May.

GIP, an independent infrastructure fund manager, already owns a 75% interest in London City Airport (LCY) and a 42% controlling stake in London Gatwick Airport (LGW). 

A 2009 report by the CC concluded that BAA should be required to sell off both LGW and London Stansted (STN) and airports, in that order, followed by either Glasgow (GLA) or EDI (ATW Daily News, Feb. 1). The Commission stipulated that all three airports should be sold within two years. The sale of LGW was concluded at the end of that year, but BAA continues to appeal the ruling regarding STN.  In response, the CC last year brought forward the requirement for the sale of one of the Scottish airports, ahead of STN.  BAA has not challenged the requirement to sell one of its Scottish airports.

GIP chairman and managing partner Adebayo Ogunlesi described the EDI acquisition as a “landmark deal for GIP” and a “significant opportunity to apply our tested and successful operational expertise and our knowledge of the global airports sector.”

The CC will now consult on draft undertakings provided by GIP, which prevent the change of ownership of EDI within five years without specific CC approval.

In 2011, EDI handled 9.3 million passengers and generated EBITDA of £48.3 million. Following the sale, BAA will own LHR, STN, GLA, Aberdeen and Southampton airports.

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