BAA owner Ferrovial has confirmed it has received at least two bids for Gatwick airport. The offers come from Global Infrastructure Partners and a consortium led by Manchester Airport Group.
Both bids are thought to be well below the £2bn plus initially hoped by BAA, and somewhere in the £1.3bn to £1.5bn range.
However it remains unclear whether a third expected bid from the GIP fund, a consortium led by Citi Infrastructure Investors, would be submitted. But BAA would be prepared to stretch its deadline for latecomers, according to the Financial Times.
The GIP fund, which has Credit Suisse and General Electric as its founding investors, owns 75 percent of London City airport, and includes Credit Suisse, JPMorgan and Royal Bank of Canada.
The valuation of Gatwick, the UK’s second largest airport, has been plummeted since BAA put it up for sale last September as passenger volumes have fallen sharply, with numbers falling 17.7 percent last month compared to March 2008.
Meanwhile, the tougher lending market has forced bidders to increase their level of equity in order to make viable offers.
The problems faced by potential buyers of Gatwick were highlighted this week by the collapse of a previously-agreed $2.5bn privatisation of Chicago Midway airport. One of the consortiums included Lysander Investment Group.