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December 5, 2022

Stansted Airport to be sold by BAA

Airports operator BAA has decided to sell Stansted Airport, ending its long-running legal battle, BBC informs. It has been fighting a 2009 Competition Commission ruling that it must sell Stansted because of the lack of competition between London airports. BAA was told to sell off Stansted and Gatwick, but by then it had already started the process of finding a buyer for Gatwick. It was also ordered to sell off either Glasgow or Edinburgh airports. BAA said it had decided not to challenge the Stansted ruling in the Supreme Court, the last opportunity it had to appeal. “We still believe that the Competition Commission ruling fails to recognise that Stansted and Heathrow serve different markets,” it said. Stansted is London’s third busiest airport and the UK’s fourth. When the inquiry process was launched five years ago, BAA owned seven UK airports, carrying 60 pc of all UK air passengers. On the other part, ABC News recently announced that Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is buying 20 pc of Heathrow owner BAA in a move that adds the airport operator to a portfolio of British interests including Harrods and stakes in Barclays and J Sainsbury. Ferrovial, the Spanish conglomerate and the largest shareholder, is to sell a 10.6 pc stake in BAA’s parent company to Qatar Holding. At the same time two more shareholders have sold shares representing 9.4 pc of the business to the fund, leaving it with a 20 pc investment in the owner of the Heathrow, Stansted, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports. The total value of the transaction is GBP 900 M.

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