First-round bids for Edinburgh Airport are due tomorrow, with JP Morgan and Gatwick owner Global Infrastructure Partners among the favourites to win the auction.
Spanish owner Ferrovial can expect to get around £700m – towards the high end of expectations – as it is likely to be inundated with offers. Others considering bids this week include the private equity groups 3i and Carlyle and the overseas airport operators Fraport and Aeroports de Paris.
The auction has piqued the interest of banks, which are said to be willing to lend around £400m on a deal. This is a high proportion of the sale cost, as Edinburgh would provide banks with stable long-term returns.
Ferrovial owns operator BAA, which was considered by the Competition Commission to have a stranglehold on the South-east England and Scottish markets. BAA was forced to sell Gatwick, but is trying to keep hold of Stansted.