Gatwick airport is sold to US investment fund for 1.51 billion pounds

London's Gatwick airport has been sold to US-based investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners for 1.51 billion pounds after UK airport operator BAA was told to sell it by British competition authorities.


London's Gatwick Airport has been sold to Global Infrastructure Partners for 1.51 billion pounds, UK airport operator BAA announced Wednesday.

"BAA today announces that it has agreed to sell its 100% interest in Gatwick Airport Limited to an entity controlled by Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) for 1.51 billion pounds," the operator said in a statement. GIP already owns London City Airport, a small hub near the centre of the British capital.

The sale comes after BAA was tasked in 2008 by UK competition authorities to sell three of its seven airports in Britain to end a dominance which they said hurt passengers and airlines financially.

The airport operator said proceeds from the Gatwick sale, due for completion in December, would be used mainly to pay-off group debt and that following the sale it would focus on improving Heathrow airport, the world's busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic.

"BAA is changing and today's announcement marks a new beginning for both Gatwick and BAA. We wish Gatwick well for the future and are confident that the airport will flourish under new ownership," said BAA chief executive Colin Matthews.

According to recent CC data, BAA currently holds a 60% market share of all passengers passing through British airports.BAA, which was privatised in 1987, also operates Southampton airport in southwest England and Aberdeen airport in Scotland.

Global Infrastructure Partners, a consortium led by Spanish construction group Ferrovial, describes itself as an independent fund that invests in infrastructure assets worldwide.


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