BAA Nears Decision on Sale of Edinburgh or Glasgow Airport

BAA Airports Ltd., the owner of London’s Heathrow Airport, will disclose “shortly” whether it plans to sell Edinburgh or Glasgow airport.

BAA, which is owned by a group of investors including Spain’s Ferrovial SA (FER), won the agreement of the Competition Commission to bring forward the sale of one of its three Scottish airports while it challenges a ruling to sell Stansted, northeast of London, the company said in a statement today.

“Both Edinburgh and Glasgow are great airports with great futures,” Chief Executive Officer Colin Matthews said in the statement. “We will be sorry to see one of them leave BAA.”

The airport operator is seeking a judicial review of the regulator’s 2009 decision to force the sale of Stansted, one of London’s three airports. The regulator reaffirmed in July that it should sell Stansted to boost competition among airport operators. It’s already sold London Gatwick.

The commission said in 2009 and again in July that BAA had to sell Stansted before disposing of either Edinburgh or Glasgow airport. BAA is being allowed to keep Aberdeen airport, in north east Scotland.

Edinburgh, the busiest of Scotland’s airports, handles 9 million passengers a year, according to its website. Glasgow had 6.5 million passengers in 2010.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Woodifield in Edinburgh at pwoodifield@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net.

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