Edinburgh Airport sale attracts interest of JP Morgan
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.
A bank spokeswoman said she could not confirm the speculation “either way”. But the bank is believed to be sounding out interested parties ahead of the deadline for offers.
Potential bidders will submit bids in excess of £400 million by March. A preferred bidder will be selected by the summer.
Citi, BNP Paribas and Ernst & Young are advising BAA on the sale and a prospectus has been issued to interested parties.
The growing list includes private equity firms 3i and the US-based Carlyle Group, the latter supported by a group of Scottish businessmen including the merchant banker Sir Angus Grossart and almost certainly the transport tycoon Sir Brian Souter.
Global Infrastructure Partners is also expected to bid and has hired Royal Bank of Scotland as its adviser. Sources believe Arcus European Infrastructure Fund, which bought Forth Ports, may also table an offer.
Another bid may come from a consortium of Scottish businessmen led by investment banker Ben Thomson and former Edinburgh airport managing director Richard Jeffrey. Thomson has said that he has gathered support from financial groups to launch an offer.
Edinburgh airport was put up for sale in October under orders from the Competition Commission, but the choice surprised those who had expected BAA to offer Glasgow for sale.
The commonly held view was that BAA, owned by Spanish infrastructure firm Ferrovial, would get a better price for Edinburgh.
Early estimates that it may raise between £700m and £1 billion were based on the £1.5bn it achieved in the sale of Gatwick, but industry analysts say a £400m to £600m price tag is more likely.