Three bidders in race to acquire London Stansted airport

17 January 2013 (Last Updated January 17th, 2013 18:30)

London Stansted Airport has received three final bids worth $1.6bn each to acquire what is the UK's fourth largest airport, serving 17.4 million passengers in 2012.

Stansted airport

London Stansted Airport has received three final bids worth $1.6bn each to acquire what is the UK's fourth largest airport, serving 17.4 million passengers in 2012.

The final bidders are Australia's Macquarie, Malaysia Airports (MAHB) and Manchester Airports Group (MAG) along with its Australian partner IFM.

Deutsche Bank and ING are advising on the deal, while a decision in this regard is expected soon.

Stansted Airport was put up for sale by BAA in August 2012 after the end of a long legal battle with the UK's Competition Commission (CC), which ordered Heathrow Airport Holdings, formerly known as BAA to sell the airport to encourage competition between London airports.

During the bidding process, the consortium led by New Zealand infrastructure firm Morrison exited from bid as it could not arrange the finance required for the deal.

"Deutsche Bank and ING are advising on the deal, while a decision in this regard is expected soon."

Following the sale of Stansted, Heathrow Airport Holdings will be operating four airports in the UK, London Heathrow and Southampton Airport in England, and Scotland's Aberdeen and Glasgow airports.

BAA previously sold Edinburgh and Gatwick airports to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) in May 2012 and December 2009 respectively.

Stansted Airport has reported a consistent decline in passenger traffic since reaching its peak traffic of 23.8 million passengers in 2007, following the global financial crisis.


Image: The final deal for the sale of Stansted Airport is expected next week. Photo: courtesy of Oxyman.