Gatwick owner prepares bid for Spain’s airports

THE OWNER of Gatwick and London City Airports has joined forces with the operator of Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport and German insurer Allianz SE to bid for Madrid and Barcelona airports.

Global Infrastructure Partners, the $5.6bn (£3.6bn) investment fund backed by Credit Suisse and General Electric, is understood to be putting together a bid for the two airports, which were put up for sale as part of Spain’s austerity drive cut public spending and lower its huge budget deficit.

The Spanish government said earlier this month that Madrid’s Barajas and Barcelona’s El Prat airports had attracted six bidders including a consortium led by Spain’s Ferrovial, the owner of Britain’s largest airport operator BAA.

Other bidders include of a group formed by Singapore’s Changi airport and infrastructure firm Arbetis, which owns Luton airport.

Spain’s government, which expects to raise at least €5bn from the sale, is offering contracts over a 20-year period, with an option for a five year licence extension.

The government seeks to grant operating licences for the two airports by the end of November.