November 26: The European Commission (EC) has approved BAA’s sale of London Gatwick Airport to the private equity fund Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), controlled by Credit Suisse and General Electric Company.
BAA, owned by Spanish firm Grupo Ferrovial, was ordered to sell some of its airports following an investigation by UK competition authorities. Gatwick is the first to be sold, GIP paying £1.51 billion for the Surrey airport. The EC said in a statement that it could not see any competition concerns, despite GIP having a 75% stake in London City Airport as “the horizontal overlaps between the activities of London City Airport and Gatwick Airport are limited. London City is mainly a niche airport focusing on short-haul flights for business passengers, while Gatwick is a large airport serving predominantly leisure passengers.”