Edinburgh Airport could be sold in £2bn deal
Scotland’s busiest airport could be set to change hands in a multibillion pound deal, according to reports.
The private equity firm which owns Edinburgh Airport is said to considering a sale of the hub in a deal which could it see it make a profit in excess of £1bn.
Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), a New York based investor group, purchased the airport from the now defunct BAA for £807m seven years ago.
But amid speculation the company is now looking to cash on soaring valuations of aviation infrastructure, it could sell on Edinburgh for as much as £2bn.
It is understood any potential sale could accelerate the airport’s growth strategy. Flights are being launched to 12 new European routes later this year as well as a new link to the US city of Boston.
GIP has also welcomed new hotel development at the Turnhouse site along with a major expansion of its retail space. Plans are also in place to transform nearby land into an international business park.
Last year GIP sold off its majority stake in Gatwick, with a hotly contested auction ultimately won by a £2.9bn bid from Vinci, the French airport operator.
In 2016, GIP sold London City Airport to a Canadian consortium for around £2bn, nearly three times what it paid for the hub a decade previously.
With Edinburgh GIP’s sole remaining part of its British airport portfolio, city sources told the Sunday Telegraph the company is considering dispensing with it altogether.
It comes at a time when Scotland’s busiest terminal is enjoying unprecedented growth.
It handled nearly 15 per cent more passengers last month than it did over the same period in 2018, with the airport’s passenger total soaring to 1,106,998, the first time it has topped the one million figure in March.
It means the traditionally quieter months of January and February are the only ones not to achieve passenger totals in excess of seven figures in the space of a calendar year.
One major airport investor told the Sunday Telegraph that GIP is expected to wait for more clarity over Brexit before launching a formal sale process.
One city source said major infrastructure funds including Brookfield, Macquarie, APG and CKI could be among those to register an interest in taking over Edinburgh.
A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport declined to comment on the reports, but it is not the first time GIP have been linked with a sale.
The group was said to have explored hiving off the hub in 2017, but decided against the move because uncertainty surrounding Brexit - in particular access to European aviation markets - would impact on the price.