BAA agrees to sell Stansted airport

Spanish-owned airports operator BAA on Monday said it had finally agreed to sell Stansted airport after losing an appeal against a competition ruling that it must offload the hub.

“Having carefully considered the Court of Appeal’s recent ruling, BAA has decided not to appeal to the Supreme Court and is now proceeding with the sale of Stansted Airport,” BAA said in a statement.

British competition watchdog the Competition Commission in 2009 ordered BAA to sell both Stansted and Gatwick airport, both close to London, plus either its Edinburgh or Glasgow hubs in Scotland.

BAA, which has managed to hold onto London’s Heathrow airport, subsequently sold its Gatwick and Edinburgh hubs to the US investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners.

“We still believe that the Competition Commission ruling fails to recognise that Stansted and Heathrow serve different markets,” BAA added on Monday.

BAA’s owner, Spanish construction firm Ferrovial, meanwhile last week said it would sell 10.62 percent of its stake in the airports operator to investment fund Qatar Holding for 478 million pounds (607 million euros, $750 million).