Tribunal ruling on BAA break-up
Monday 21 December 2009
BAA will find out this morning whether it is to be forced to sell off Stansted and one of its Scottish airports in line with a contested Competition Commission ruling.
The monopoly watchdog's decision in March concluded that BAA's eight airports constituted a dominant market position and stipulated the Ferrovial-owned group must sell Gatwick and Stansted if it wanted to hang on to Heathrow, and also either Edinburgh or Glasgow.
Gatwick was already up for sale by the time of the ruling, and was subsequently acquired by Global Infrastructure Partners, which operates London's City airport, for £1.5bn in October.
But BAA launched an appeal against any further forced sales. The group claims that the original ruling was riven with "apparent bias" because a member of the inquiry panel was also advising Manchester Airports Group, which was a potential bidder for Gatwick. BAA also says that the two-year deadline on the divestments is unfair because the recession is dragging down prices.
BAA has debts of £9bn from its 2006 takeover by Ferrovial, £1bn of which matures next year.
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