Ferrovial – the lead shareholder in airport operator BAA – has confirmed it is still considering a number of offers for a ten per cent stake in London Heathrow Airport.
HNA – a Chinese airports operator – is among the frontrunners, although Spain-based Ferrovial is remaining tight lipped on whether any formal bid had been forthcoming.
The fourth-largest airline group in China, HNA is the parent of Hainan Airlines.
BAA presently owns London Heathrow Airport and Stansted Airport and Southampton Airport in the south-east of England, as well as Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen airports in Scotland.
The group was forced to sell Gatwick Airport after an investigation by the Competition Commission concluded its potentially monopolistic position could damage customer interests.
Ferrovial wants to sell a stake in BAA in order to trim debts.
Non-binding offers for the stake – largely from infrastructure funds and sovereign wealth funds - are expected in the first half of 2011.
A ten per cent stake in BAA is estimated by analysts to be worth €200 million.
Ferrovial owns 55.9 per cent of BAA.