BAA forced to sell Stansted

BAA forced to sell Stansted

The Competition Commission watchdog will force BAA to press ahead with the sale of Stansted and one of its Scottish Airports, according to a report in the Sunday Times.

In 2009 the airport operator was ordered to sell Gatwick, Stanstead and either Edinburgh or Glasgow airport within two years, after an inquiry found that customers were suffering from a lack of competition between airports.

Gatwick Airport has since been sold to Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) for £1.51bn.  BAA planned to use the proceeds of the sale mainly to repay part of its £9.6bn debt. Investment fund GIP also owns a 75% stake in London City Airport.

BAA, which is majority owned by Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial, appealed against the order to sell three of the seven UK airports it runs, which also include Aberdeen and Southampton airports. The operator argued that the commission did not take into account the impact of the recession and changing market conditions.