Deal due next week for three Stansted suitors

Marion Dakers
THREE suitors have made final bids for Stansted, valuing the north east London airport at around £1bn, two sources said yesterday.

Macquarie, Malaysia Airport Holdings and Manchester Airports Group with its partner IFM are the three bidders left in the contest for the airport.

A deal to buy the leisure travel-focused airport from Heathrow Airport Holdings, previously known as BAA, could be announced next week.

HAH was ordered to sell Stansted after it lost a final appeal against a Competition Commission decision last August.

The case wound its way through the appeals system for three years, after the Competition Commission ruled that the airport and others in Scotland must be sold off.

The sale initially attracted a string of private equity bidders and infrastructure funds including TPG and 3i Infrastructure.

Ryanair, which operates 70 per cent of Stansted’s flights, also expressed an interest in making a joint bid, but pulled out in October blaming parent firm Ferrovial’s reluctance to engage.

HAH, which declined to comment yesterday, is being advised by ING and Deutsche Bank during the sale process.