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