Blue skies ahead for BAA as Gatwick sale is set to take off

GLOBAL Infrastructure Partners (GIP) could snap up Gatwick as early as tomorrow, after months of&nbsp; talks.<br /><br />Airport owner BAA, which is disposing of the London hub after a ruling from the Competition Commission (CC), is thrashing out the final details of the sale with GIP, including the price tag.<br /><br />BAA, which is owned by Spanish group Ferrovial, had wanted &pound;1.6bn for the airport &ndash; the regulated asset base benchmark placed on Gatwick by the Civil Aviation Authority &ndash; and talks with interested buyers fell apart when the cost could not be agreed.&nbsp; But the two parties were last night understood to mulling a &pound;1.5bn sale.<br /><br />The news comes as BAA challenges a ruling from the CC, forcing it to sell off some of its assets. The hearing is not expected to affect the sale talks.<br />GIP, a fund backed by US company General Electric, had been bidding against a consortium led by Manchester Airport Group and Borealis, the Canadian infrastructure fund.<br /><br />A spokesman for BAA last night said that it was &ldquo;still talking to multiple parties and no deadline was agreed.&rdquo;