GIP takes over Edinburgh Airport


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The Independent Online

Scotland's busiest airport has formally changed hands following an £807.2 million deal.

Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) today took ownership of Edinburgh airport after buying it from BAA in an arrangement announced in April.

BAA was forced to sell it after the Competition Commission ruled that it must sell either Glasgow or Edinburgh airports.

Gordon Dewar, a former managing director of the airport, has been appointed chief executive officer (CEO).

He is currently CEO of Bahrain international airport and will rejoin Edinburgh airport in the summer when free from his current commitments, with the airport's current managing director Jim O'Sullivan continuing in his role until then.

Mr Dewar said: "Edinburgh is my home city and I am excited to be returning to one of the most important jobs in the capital.

"The challenge of leading the airport and the team into a new era of competition and growth is an irresistible one, and very different to the role I once played in BAA.

"Edinburgh airport's future, its plans and its identity will all be shaped in Edinburgh, and our decisions will only be influenced by what is good for Edinburgh airport and the city and country we serve."

GIP is an independent infrastructure fund manager.

It took over London City in 2006 and then bought Gatwick from BAA for £1.51 billion in 2009.

Michael McGhee, the GIP partner who led the acquisition of Edinburgh airport, said: "Gordon is an outstanding airport executive with relevant experience of Edinburgh airport.

"We are pleased to have secured his return and look forward to supporting him and his team as they begin the important job of establishing Edinburgh airport as a more dynamic, competitive player in the global aviation industry.

"It is important to acknowledge the important role played by current airport managing director Jim O'Sullivan, who has steered his team through the sale process with the highest levels of professionalism and focus.

"He will leave Edinburgh airport in good shape, and with our best wishes."

Sir John Elvidge has become chairman of Edinburgh airport.

He said today represents the opening of a "new, exciting chapter in the history of Scotland's capital city airport".

He added: "We don't expect to change overnight but we have an excellent, supportive owner and a world-class management team; each of us is determined to raise Scotland's profile around the world, connect Edinburgh with more destinations and provide passengers with a great experience and more choice.

"The hard work starts today."