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Heathrow set to sell regional airports to GIC, Ferrovial group: Sky

[LONDON] Heathrow Airport Holdings (HAH) is set to sell three British airports for 1 billion pounds (S$2 billion) to a group including Spanish infrastructure firm Ferrovial, Singapore sovereign fund GIC and Australian bank Macquarie, according to Sky News.

Quoting unnamed insiders, Sky News said on Friday the investors would take equity stakes in the three airports - Aberdeen and Glasgow in Scotland and Southampton in southern England - in a deal which could be announced in days.

Ferrovial, HAH, GIC and Macquarie declined to comment.

Ferrovial has a 25 per cent stake in HAH and is its largest shareholder alongside Qatar Holding, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, GIC, Alinda Capital Partners, China Investment Corp and the Universities Superannuation Scheme.

Ferrovial was reported to have made an 800 million pound offer for the three airports in February.

The sale of the three regional airports would leave HAH with just Heathrow, the west London hub that ranks as Britain's busiest and the world's third busiest airport. Heathrow accounts for 95 per cent of HAH's annual profit.

HAH would then be free to focus on its plan to gain government approval to build a third runway at Heathrow, an issue which has been at the centre of a long-running political tussle.

The three regional airports were put up for sale by HAH in August, when the group said it hoped to conclude a transaction by the end of 2014.

Sky News also said GIC's involvement was being finalised and it may not be publicly named as an investor when the deal is formally announced. - Reuters