GIP and 3i frontrunners to buy Edinburgh Airport
Global Infrastructure Partners (which owns Gatwick and London City Airport), 3i and a consortium backed by US private equity giant Carlyle Group are due to take an early lead in the race for Edinburgh Airport as the deadline for first-round bids expires this week. The airport is valued at £400m-£600m, and JP Morgan is also interested. Stagecoach boss Sir Brian Souter has ruled himself out of bidding in the first round, though may get involved later through his Souter Investments vehicle. Arcus Infrastructure Partners, owner of Forth Ports in Edinburgh, was named as another potential buyer but is also believed to have decided against. Bidders say the asset is attractive as it has been underdeveloped by BAA.
Global Infrastructure Partners, 3i and a consortium backed by US private equity giant Carlyle Group are due to take an early lead in the race for Edinburgh Airport as the deadline for first-round bids expires this week.
By Nathalie Thomas
11 Feb 2012 (Telegraph )
The asset, valued at £400m-£600m, has also attracted the interest of JP Morgan, which is understood to have sent representatives from its infrastructure fund to the Scottish capital last month to sound out potential partners.
Stagecoach boss Sir Brian Souter has ruled himself out of bidding in the first round, although he has left the door open to involvement at a later stage through his Souter Investments vehicle.
A spokesman for Sir Brian said: “We have had discussions with a number of potential bidders regarding Edinburgh Airport over the last few months but have decided not to join a consortium at this point. We would be interested to engage with short-listed bidders at the next stage in the process should the opportunity arise.”
Arcus Infrastructure Partners, owner of Forth Ports in Edinburgh, was named as another potential buyer but is also believed to have decided against an approach.
Sources close to the deal say London City and Gatwick airports owner, Global Infrastructure Partners, and 3i, which is working with the Universities Superannuation Scheme and fund manager M&G, are among the most serious bidders, along with a consortium led by merchant bank Noble Grossart and backed by Carlyle.
Edinburgh investment banker Ben Thomson, chairman of Inverleith Capital, was working with a former managing director of the airport, Richard Jeffrey, on an approach although it is not yet clear how they would fund the venture.
BAA was forced to put the airport on the market following a Competition Commission ruling Bidders say the asset is attractive as it has been underdeveloped by Spanish-owned BAA. One potential buyer described the airport as “shoddy” even though it had a £40m upgrade in 2010.
GIP, Carlyle and 3i declined to comment. Mr Thomson, JP Morgan and Arcus Infrastructure Partners did not return calls for comment.
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See earlier news:
Edinburgh Airport sale attracts interest of JP Morgan
January 15, 2012 JP MORGAN, the US financial institution, is believed to be the latest to express an interest in bidding for Edinburgh airport. The bank is believed to be sounding out interested parties ahead of the deadline for offers in March. Potential bidders will submit bids in excess of £400 million. A preferred bidder will be selected by the summer. The growing list of those interested in buying Edinburgh 3i and the US-based Carlyle Group (included Sir Brian Souter) and GIP. Arcus European Infrastructure Fund may also table an offer. Also a consortium of Scottish businessmen. A price of £400 – 600 million is likely. Click here to view full story…
Souter in bid to buy Edinburgh airport
November 21, 2011 Sir Brian Souter, the founder of Stagecoach, is considering joining a consortium of Scottish investors to buy Edinburgh airport. The Scottish millionaire is thought to be drawing up plans after BAA appointed investment banks Citigroup and BNP Paribas to help sell the airport. The entrepreneur will not make any formal decisions until the sales document is sent out in January. Other parties interested in buying it are 3i; Aeroports de Paris, which owns Charles de Gaulle airport; and GIP. Click here to view full story…
BAA opts to sell Edinburgh airport for £500m and keep Glasgow
October 20, 2011 BAA is putting Edinburgh Airport up for sale with an estimated price tag of about £500m. They chose Edinburgh instead of Glasgow, as it would fetch a higher price, is performing better and would be easier to sell. Bidders include GIP (owns Gatwick), Manchester Airports Group, Borealis Infrastructure, and Macquarie. BAA is now starting sale preparations and expects to formally approach the market in the New Year in order to agreeing a sale by Summer 2012. Click here to view full story…
BAA ordered to sell Glasgow or Edinburgh airport before selling Stansted
October 8, 2011 BAA has been told by the Competition Commission that it must sell either Edinburgh or Glasgow before it sells Stansted. Earlier this year it had said BAA should sell Stansted first, but BAA appealed which has caused delay. So now the sale of one of the Scottish airports must be brought forward, and will begin soon, as it will take longer for Stansted to be sorted out. BAA says it is now clearer than ever “that Heathrow & Stansted serve different markets.” Click here to view full story…