BAA has put Gatwick airport up for sale following concerns raised by the Competition Commission over BAA’s market dominance. Analysts are predicting the airport, London’s second largest after Heathrow, could fetch between £2bn to £3bn.
The Competition Commission issued an interim ruling last month that BAA, owned by Spanish group Ferrovial, must sell three of its seven UK airports, including two of London’s Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted and one in Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland.
In a statement Colin Matthews, chief executive of BAA confirmed: “We have decided to begin the process of selling Gatwick Airport immediately.” However the company is vowing to fight to retain the rest of its portfolio.
Airlines including Virgin Atlantic, Easyjet and Ryanair have all thrown their support behind the regulator’s ruling last month.
Virgin Atlantic has already voiced interest in joining a consortium to buy Gatwick.
Other potential bidders include Aeroports de Paris, Australia’s Macquarie Airports and Frankfurt’s Fraport AG.