Equity firm 3i has announced it is joining the race to buy Edinburgh Airport.

Airport news for Edinburgh,Travel on 19/12/2011.

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The news comes just weeks after the BAA announced that the Edinburgh facility would be its next operation put up for sale following an orders from the Competition Commission that it must sell-off one of its Scottish airports.

The private equity firm is reportedly teaming up Prudential subsidy M&G, City’s fund manager, as well as with British pension fund investing company Universities Superannuation Scheme, for its bid for the airport. The 3i Infrastructure-led conglomerate will be just one of many groups seeking the facility in next year’s sales process, which is expected to be highly competitive, according to analysts.

Additional bids are expected from Stagecoach figurehead Brian Souter via his Souter Investments group, as well as from a consortium led by US-based investment firm the Carlyle Group.

Meanwhile, Global Infrastructure Partners and Charles de Gaulle airport owner Aeroports de Paris are also reportedly interested in acquiring Edinburgh Airport, which sees around 9 million passengers each year.

The BAA launched the sale effort at the end of November via BNP Paribas and Citi banks, after regulators ordered in 2009 the sale of Gatwick, Stansted and one other facility to reduce the company’s dominance in the UK.

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