AUSTRALIA. BAA today completed the sale of its interests in six Australian airports for a consideration of A$775 million (Â£340 million).
BAA, which is owned by Airport Development and Investment (ADI) Limited – a consortium led by Ferrovial Group – sold the assets to an Australian entity managed by Hastings Fund Management. Proceeds from the sale will be used to repay debt from ADI’s purchase of BAA last year.
The groupÂ´s Australian airport interests comprise a 19.8% interest in Melbourne and Launceston, 15% interest in Perth, and 10% interests in three Northern Territory airports. The sale represents a continuation of BAA’s strategy to dispose of non-core international assets, a strategy announced in October 2006.
Earlier this year BAA divested its majority stake in Budapest Airport for Â£1.3 billion to a group led by HochTief Airport.
A decision is still awaited on the future of World Duty Free, BAA’s wholly owned retail division. Ferrovial has hired Merrill Lynch to examine its strategic options for the retail business.
October passenger traffic
In other BAA news today, the company’s seven UK airports handled a total of 13.2 million passengers in October, an increase of +3.5% on the same month last year.
Among key markets there was a marked acceleration in the rate of growth of North Atlantic traffic, from an increase of +4.1% in September to +8.9% in October. Other long haul traffic also improved, with an +8.5% increase in the month.
In contrast UK domestic traffic continued its recent decline with a drop of -2.4% in October. European scheduled traffic was up by +4.3% but European charters were -3.2% lower.
All individual airports except Glasgow (-1.8%) recorded increases in October. Heathrow and Gatwick continued to benefit from the comparison with results in the latter part of last year when traffic was affected in the aftermath of the August security rule changes. Heathrow reported a +3.8% increase while Gatwick was +4.9% up. Edinburgh and Aberdeen continued their trend of robust growth with increases of +5.0% and +6.6% respectively.
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