Passenger aircraft, operated by Monarch Airlines Ltd., sit parked at the South Terminal at London Gatwick airport in this aerial view taken over Crawley, U.K. (Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg)

Gatwick Owner GIP Is Nearing Stake Sale to Investor Group

(Bloomberg) -- Global Infrastructure Partners is nearing an agreement to sell its stake in London’s Gatwick Airport to a consortium that includes some of the fund manager’s own investors, people familiar with the matter said.

The investor group also consists of GIP’s co-investors in the airport, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. GIP, which owns 42 percent of Gatwick, may reach a deal with the bidders as soon as this month, they said. It wasn’t immediately clear which of Gatwick’s shareholders had agreed to buy the holding.

GIP had planned to initially seek buyers for its stake among existing shareholders, which include funds from Abu Dhabi, California and South Korea, people familiar with the matter said in April.

A representative for GIP declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Gatwick referred questions to GIP.

GIP, which manages more than $40 billion in assets from ports and airports to a vast wind farm in the North Sea, bought London’s second-busiest airport with the consortium of investors in 2009 for about 1.5 billion pounds ($2 billion).

Gatwick has been under pressure due to intensifying competition from the city’s other airports and lost out to Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, in a contest to win government backing for the construction of a new runway. Gatwick has agreed to spend 1.11 billion pounds expanding the capacity of its two terminals in the next five years.

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