Gatwick Airport to Global Infrastructure Partners - will Stansted Airport be next?

PUBLISHED: 10:23 21 October 2009 | UPDATED: 21:57 31 May 2010

BAA has today (Wednesday October 21) announced that it has agreed to sell Gatwick Airport to Global Infrastructure Partners for £1.51 billion. Of the sale price, £55 million is conditional on future traffic performance and the buyer s future capital struc

BAA has today (Wednesday October 21) announced that it has agreed to sell Gatwick Airport to Global Infrastructure Partners for £1.51 billion.

Of the sale price, £55 million is conditional on future traffic performance and the buyer's future capital structure. Proceeds will be used to primarily repay part of BAA's existing debt.

BAA announced its plans to sell Gatwick in September 2008, before the end of the Competition Commission's UK airports market investigation.

Colin Matthews, BAA's chief executive, said: "Gatwick and its people have long been a central part of BAA and we are proud of the airport's development as one of the world's leading international airports.

"BAA is changing and today's announcement marks a new beginning for both Gatwick and BAA. We wish Gatwick well for the future and are confident that the airport will flourish under new ownership.

"BAA will focus on improving Heathrow and our other airports."

The sale is subject to, among other things, EU merger regulation clearance. Completion of the sale is scheduled for December.

Gatwick opened in 1958 and is the busiest single runway airport in the world, handling 32.2 million passengers in the year to September 2009. Gatwick Airport employs around 2500 people This month BAA challenged the commission's ruling to make it sell three of its seven UK airports (Gatwick, Stansted, and either Glasgow or Edinburgh). BAA is especially keen to retain Stansted Airport in Essex.

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