BAA to sell Gatwick to LCY owners

21 Oct 2009 by AndrewGough

BAA has agreed to sell London Gatwick Airport in a deal worth £1.51 billion.

The airport operator today announced the sale of its 100 per cent stake in Gatwick to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), owners of London City Airport.

Colin Matthews, BAA's chief executive, said Gatwick had “long been a central part” of the company and that its future focus would be on improving Heathrow and its other airports.

The money from the sale will be welcomed by BAA which has already said it will be used to repay long-standing debts. The sale is still subject to EU approval but is expected to be completed in December.

The deal signals the start of the break-up of the UK’s largest airport group after it was ordered to sell three of its operations by competition regulators.

But in today’s announcement, BAA maintained its decision to sell Gatwick was made in September 2008, months before the UK Competition Commission’s investigation came to an end in March this year.

BAA this week launched a formal appeal against the Commission’s ruling that it must sell Gatwick, Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh airports.

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Report by Andrew Gough

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