Asia’s richest man is reportedly considering a major stake in Manchester Airports Group.

Airport news for Manchester,Stansted on 28/06/2012.

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Li Ka-shing, a Hong Kong-based multi-billionaire, is said to be among only two remaining entities interested in helping the Manchester airport owner to secure some £1 billion in funding for the prospect of buying Stansted airport. Australia-based Industry Funds Management is also said to be looking into the stake.

Eighty-four-year-old Ka-shing is currently the biggest foreign investor operating in the United Kingdom and owns Felixstowe port, Northumbrian Water, Superdrug and telecom provider 3. According to the 2012 Forbes Billionaires List, he is worth some $25.5 billion (£16 billion).

Manchester Airports Group currently owns and operates four UK airports: Manchester, Humberside, East Midlands and Bournemouth. The firm is owned by ten local councils in Greater Manchester and officials say the move to buy Stansted comes amid an aggressive growth strategy.

Reports have said that the deal, which MAG put on offer earlier this year, would provide an investment partner with a stake worth roughly 35 per cent of the new joint venture. In addition to Ka-shing and Industry Funds Management, investment firm 3i was said to have been in the running but reportedly pulled out in recent weeks.

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