Gatwick airport owner in talks to sell minority stake

The owner of Gatwick airport is in talks to sell a minority stake to an overseas investor, according to reports.

Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) is reported to be holding talks with a global institutional investor with the aim of selling a stake of around 12% in the airport.

GIP acquired Gatwick from the British Airports Authority for £1.5 billion in October 2009.

BAA was ordered to sell the aiport, along with Stansted and either Glasgow or Edinburgh, by the Competition Commission by 2011. The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and US public pension fund Calpers have since acquired stakes in the airport.

Although GIP is looking to sell one more minority investment in Gatwick, it will retain management control of the airport with a 51% shareholding.

The identity of the buyer is unknown although a Sunday newspaper said bankers thought it most likely to be a sovereign wealth fund from either Asia or the Middle East.

A deal is likely by the end of the year.

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