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Carlyle part of Edinburgh Airport bid

The US investor is part of a consortium led by Scottish merchant bank Noble Grossart that is putting together a bid for Edinburgh Airport. Last month, BAA announced it would sell Edinburgh rather than Glasgow Airport in response to a forced divestment ruling.

Carlyle Group, the US alternative asset manager, is part of a consortium that has plans to bid for the UK’s Edinburgh Airport, according to a spokesman for the consortium.  

The consortium is led by Noble Grossart, the Edinburgh-based merchant bank.  

A report in the Financial Times said Carlyle would be expected to stump up between £100 million (€116 million; $160 million) and £200 million of the purchase price. Edinburgh has an enterprise value in excess of €500 million.

The FT added that a rival consortium was being put together by Ben Thomson, chairman of Scottish investment bank Inverleith Capital, who is thought to be working with Richard Jeffrey, a former managing director of Edinburgh Airport.

It is expected that infrastructure funds will play a role in the bidding process and that other consortia will likely emerge in due course.

BAA, the UK airports operator owned by Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial, said last month that it would sell Edinburgh Airport in response to the UK Competition Commission’s demand that it sell one of its Scottish airports plus London’s Stansted Airport.

At the time, BAA said it was beginning preliminary preparations for the sale with a view to tapping the market early next year, with any sale expected to be completed by the summer of 2012.

BAA describes Edinburgh Airport as “Scotland’s largest airport with approximately 9.2 million passengers every year and over 100,000 flights”. Over the last 12 months, passenger numbers have grown by 6.1 percent and by 9.5 percent since the start of this year, BAA added.

After BAA sells Edinburgh Airport, it will be left with a portfolio of five UK airports including Heathrow, Stansted, Southampton and Aberdeen.