Abu Dhabi ruling family and Li Ka-Shing vie for airports stake

TWO of the wealthiest investors from Abu Dhabi and China are competing to back Manchester Airports Group’s bid for Stansted Airport.

The group, which owns East Midlands, Bournemouth and Humberside airports, is looking to raise approximately £1bn to bid for the London airport should BAA place it on the market later this year.

Li Ka-Shing, via his investment vehicle Cheung Kong Infrastructure, and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which is owned by the country’s ruling family, are vying with Australian investor Industry Funds Management for the 50 per cent stake in Manchester Airports Group.

The winning bidder could be announced within the next few weeks.

But the sale of the stake will only complete if the group’s bid for Stansted Airport is successful.

Heathrow-operator BAA, which sold Edinburgh Airport last week for £807m, was instructed by the Competition Commission in 2009 to sell Gatwick and Stansted airports.