Gatwick airport owners to sell a minority stake

THE owner of Gatwick airport is in negotiations to sell a minority stake in the transport hub to an unidentified investor.

Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) is believed to be holding talks with a global institutional investor with the aim of selling one final minority stake in the airport it acquired from the British Airports Authority for £1.5bn in October 2009.

The stake is likely to be the same size as the 12 per cent GIP sold to South Korea’s national pension fund for just under £100m.

The identity of the buyer is unknown although a Sunday newspaper said bankers thought it most likely to be a sovereign wealth fund from either Asia or the Middle East.

It has already syndicated nearly 40 per cent of its shareholding, selling 12 per cent to the South Korean national pension fund, 15 per cent to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority for around £125m and most recently 12 per cent to US public pension fund Calpers in June.

GIP intends to retain a 51 per cent shareholding in the airport.