Southend sale may go to three rounds of bidding - London City Airport News

Airport news for London City on 05/06/2008.

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Four groups are competing to purchase Southend Airport according to reports in the Telegraph. The airport is reportedly has a sale price between £40 million and £50 million which has drawn the interest of London City Airport and the Reuben brothers.

There were initially seven bidders on the airport but the current owner, Regional Airports (RAL), will announce this week a short list of four bidders who will continue in the second round of bidding. RAL is a private firm owned by Andrew Walters which has engaged Opus as an advisory firm for the sale. After the second round of bidders has been announced industry experts predict a third round of bidding will follow rather than individual talks with one bidder.

Mr. Walters reportedly put Southend Airport up for sale in order to find an owner capable of financing the development of the facility which may cost more than £35 million. If the development does occur as planned, it would make Southend the sixth airport serving the London area.

Other bidders from the first round reportedly include Barclays Capital, Australia's Macquarie, and Germany's Hochtief. In addition, the owner of Exeter Airport and Blackpool Airport, Balfour Beatty is rumoured to be among the bidders, as is the owner of Luton Airport, Abertis.

Brothers Simon and David Reuben are the joint owners of Oxford Airport together with Dawnay Day, a private equity group.

London City, which is owned by AIG, an American insurance company and Global Infrastructure Partners, is also following the bidding closely.

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