BAA sells Edinburgh Airport to Global Infrastructure Partnership for $1.3 bn

BAA, the operator of the UK's biggest airports, including Heathrow, yesterday sold Edinburgh Airport to Global Infrastructure Partnership (GIP), the owner of Gatwick airport, for £807 million ($1.3 billion) in cash.

GIP beat off rivals, including a consortium led by JP Morgan Asset Management, and private equity firms Carlyle and 3i, to secure the deal. Carlyle and 3i dropped out ahead of the second-round of bidding as they felt that BAA was seeking too high a price for the Scottish airport.

Edinburgh airport, which serves about 40 airlines that fly to more than 100 destinations, handled 9.5 million passengers last year.

Edinburgh Airport was put for sale by BAA last October, after the UK's antitrust watchdog Competition Commission had in 2009 ruled that it had to sell either Edinburgh or Glasgow airport since it held a monopoly position in the UK market.

BAA is owned by a consortium led by Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial, which also owns Stansted, Southampton, Aberdeen, and Heathrow airports, while GIP is the world's biggest infrastructure-focused fund.

GIP acquired London City airport in 2006 and then bought Gatwick from BAA for £1.51 billion in 2009.
As per the Competition Commission's ruling, BAA has also to sell Stansted airport, which also serves London. BAA is currently disputing Competition Commission's ruling on Stansted, opting to keep Glasgow and sell Edinburgh.