Edinburgh Airport owners pick banks to take flight with £2.5bn sale

Business

The owners of Edinburgh Airport have picked bankers to launch an auction next year that could draw bids of £2.5bn.

Sky News has learnt that Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) has hired HSBC and JP Morgan to orchestrate a sale of the Scottish capital’s aviation hub.

The process, which is expected to get underway at some point in the first half of 2024, will reflect the industry’s post-Covid recovery, and is expected to attract interest from infrastructure investors from around the world.

GIP has owned Edinburgh Airport since 2012, when it bought it from BAA, which at the time was the FTSE-100 airport infrastructure group behind Heathrow.

GIP was said to have explored a sale in 2016 but was deterred by jittery investment connected to the Brexit vote that year.

Stakes in Britain’s busiest airport have since changed hands on a relatively frequent basis, with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) and French investor Ardian acquiring a substantial shareholding last month.

Reports have suggested that PIF wants to acquire the Heathrow interests of other small shareholders and ultimately end up with a controlling stake.

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GIP also previously owned Gatwick, which is now French-controlled, while the UK’s other major airports are also owned by overseas investors.

Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports are part of the same group, called AGS, whose owners are also expected to kick off a sale next year.

GIP declined to comment.

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