Stansted Airport attracts three bids worth $1.61 bn each: report

Stansted Airport in the UK has attracted three final bids worth around £1 billion each ($1.61 billion) and a deal could be announced as early as next week, Reuters today reported, citing three people with knowledge of the matter.

Australia's Macquarie, Malaysia Airports Holdings and Manchester Airports Group, which has teamed up with its Australian partner IFM are the final bidders, the report said.

Private equity firm TPG and New Zealand investment manager Morrison & Co, who had earlier shown interest in the auction, did not submit bids.

Stansted, owned by Heathrow Airport Holdings (formerly known as BAA Limited), is London's fourth-busiest airport, currently handling around 18 million passengers a year.

Many leading European low-cost carriers have made Stansted their base.

In 2011 it was the fourth-busiest airport in the UK after Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester. Stansted's runway is also used by private companies such as the Harrods Aviation terminal, which is opposite the main terminal building and handles private jets and some state visitors.