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April 24, 2012

BAA sells Edinburgh Airport to GIP

UK airport operator BAA has agreed to sell Edinburgh Airport for £807.2m to US based infrastructure fund manager Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).

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BAA, the operator of UK’s leading airports has agreed to sell Edinburgh Airport for £807.2m to US-based infrastructure fund manager, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP ).

GIP currently operates two airports in the UK including London city airport which it acquired in 2006 and Gatwick airport, acquired from BAA for £1.51bn in 2009.

The company beat out competition from rival bidders including a consortium led by US bank JPMorgan and GIP expects that the transaction to be completed by the end of May.

GIP chairman and managing partner, Adebayo Ogunlesi, said: "Edinburgh Airport is a high-quality infrastructure asset."

"We see significant opportunity to apply our tested and successful operational expertise and our knowledge of the global airports sector to develop and enhance the performance of Edinburgh Airport in years to come," Ogunlesi added.

The sale was approved after UK Competition Commission (CC ) ordered BAA, part of the Spanish infrastructure company Ferrovial , to give away three UK airports, including London Gatwick and Stansted airports, plus either Edinburgh or Glasgow airport, to reduce its monopoly position in the market.

UK Competition Commission’s BAA Remedies Implementation Group chairman, Laura Carstensen, said: "GIP ‘s track record is very strong and we anticipate that customers at Edinburgh Airport will soon see the benefits of new management approaches and that Scottish passengers and airlines more generally will also gain from the introduction of a more competitive environment."

GIP partner leading the acquisition, Michael McGhee, said: "We plan to work closely with the airlines to improve customer service and quality in a similar fashion to the strategy we are successfully executing at our existing UK airports London Gatwick and London City."

"We expect to continue to develop Edinburgh Airport into an attractive and efficient capital city gateway by improving the experience of our passengers, business and leisure alike," McGhee said.

Edinburgh Airport handled 9.3 million passengers in 2011.


Image: Edinburgh Airport handled 9.3 million passengers in 2011 and generated an EBITDA of £48.3m during the period. Photo: Paul McIlroy

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