Global Airport News

Global Airport News

BAA agreed to sell London's Gatwick Airport for GBP1.5 billion pounds (USD$2.46 billion) on Wednesday, hoping to bolster its appeal against a competition ruling that it must offload three airports in total.

Airports operator BAA, majority owned by Spanish infrastructure company Ferrovial, announced the sale on the third day of its appeal hearing against the Competition Commission ruling.

The sale price is less than the airport's GBP1.6 billion Regulated Asset Base value.

Ferrovial secured a debt-funded takeover of BAA — which also owns London's Heathrow, Stansted, Southampton and three Scottish airports — at the top of the market in 2006, but has since struggled with falling passenger numbers and competition concerns.

BAA said on Wednesday it has agreed to sell Gatwick, London's second-busiest airport, to a consortium led by Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), which already owns London City Airport.

The Competition Commission in March ordered BAA to sell Gatwick and Stansted, as well as either Edinburgh or Glasgow airports.

The sale of Gatwick to the consortium, led by GIP and founded by Credit Suisse and General Electric, has been widely expected.

BAA said the proceeds will be used primarily to repay part of its existing debt.

It said GBP55 million of the sale price is conditional on future traffic performance and GIP's future capital structure.