LONDON Jan 18 Manchester Airports Group (MAG)
said on Friday it had agreed to buy London's Stansted airport
from Heathrow Airport Holdings for 1.5 billion pounds ($2.4
As part of the transaction, Australian infrastructure
investment group Industry Funds Management (IFM) will become an
investor in MAG, invest new equity and take a 35.5 percent stake
in the enlarged group, MAG said.
Single runway Stansted, which is predominantly a low-cost
leisure and holiday travel airport, is based 50 kilometres
northeast of central London and is Britain's fourth busiest
airport, handling just under 18 million passengers last year.
The Stansted sale is part of a drive by Britain's
competition regulator to loosen the grip of Heathrow Airport
Holdings - formerly BAA - on the UK airports market.
Australia's Macquarie and Malaysia Airports
Holdings had also been bidding for Stansted, sources
close the matter told Reuters earlier this week.
MAG owns and operates Manchester airport in north west
England, as well as two other British airports.
Spain's Ferrovial is the largest investor in
Heathrow Airport Holdings with a 34 percent stake. Other
investors include Qatari and Chinese funds.