BAA appeals airport sales

<!--StartFragment--> <!--StartFragment--> AIRPORT owner BAA said yesterday it will appeal the Competition Commission&rsquo;s orders to sell off three of its airports, after being told to get rid of Gatwick, Stansted and either Edinburgh or Glasgow.<br /><br />BAA, which is owned by Spanish group Ferrovial, said the Commission ruling overlooked the recession, and the affect it would have on the price the airports would fetch.<br /><br />In March, the Commission ruled that BAA&rsquo;s monopoly should be broken up.<br /><br />BAA put Gatwick up for sale last year, and is understood to have received bids of only around &pound;1.6bn &ndash; far lower than the &pound;2bn it had expected.<br /><br />It also accused the Commission of bias, citing &ldquo;links between a member of the Competition Commission panel and a consortium interested in acquiring the airport that BAA is required to sell.&rdquo;<br /><br />But some analysts say the appeal against the Commission&rsquo;s ruling may be a tactical move by BAA to get the highest price for its airports.<br /><br />Collin Stewart analyst Andrew Fitchie, said: &ldquo;This could be a delaying tactic until credit markets improve and the economic performance of the airports rebound.&rdquo;<br /><br />A Commission spokesman said: &ldquo;We would hope that the matter can be resolved without undue delay to changes we feel would benefit passengers and airlines.&rdquo;<br /><br />The two remaining bidders for Gatwick are a consortium made up of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, Manchester Airport Group (MAG) and Canada&rsquo;s Borealis, and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), the fund that owns City Airport. <!--EndFragment--> <!--EndFragment-->