Information memoranda will be sent next week (Tuesday 17 January) to those parties that have expressed an interest in bidding for Scotland’s Edinburgh Airport, a spokesperson for the airport confirmed.
Although the sale process has yet to officially get underway, a long list of potential bidders has already been named in media reports. Infrastructure Investor received confirmation last November that a consortium led by Scottish merchant bank Noble Grossart and including US alternative asset manager Carlyle Group was planning to bid.
At around the same time, the Financial Times reported that a consortium was also being put together by Ben Thomson, chairman of Scottish investment bank Inverleith Capital, who was thought to be working with Richard Jeffrey, a former managing director of Edinburgh Airport.
Since then, a host of other names have been put in the frame. Last week Reuters said US-based Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), which achieved a first close of $3 billion on its second infrastructure fund toward the end of last year, had appointed RBS to advise it on a bid. GIP already has London’s Gatwick Airport in its portfolio.
Other potential bidders cited by Reuters included a 3i/M&G/Universities Superannuation Scheme consortium; Frankfurt Airport owner Fraport; Turkish airport operator TAV; Charles de Gaulle Airport owner Aeroports de Paris; Canadian investment group Borealis Infrastructure; and YVRAS, the operator of Canada’s Vancouver Airport.
London-based infrastructure fund manager Arcus Infrastructure Partners was also named as a “possible” bidder along with Manchester Airport Group and Peel Holdings, a real estate, transport and infrastructure investor.
Meanwhile, a report from Bloomberg earlier this week linked South Korea’s Incheon International Airport Corp to a possible offer, as well as investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Company.
BAA, the UK airports operator owned by Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial, said last October that it would seek to sell Edinburgh Airport after a UK Competition Commission ruling forcing it to sell one of its Scottish airports plus London’s Stansted Airport.
The sale is expected to fetch somewhere in the range of £400 million (€481 million; $618 million) and £600 million. Edinburgh Airport has been seeing passenger numbers grow rapidly, and is currently the sixth-busiest airport in the UK on this measure.