25 Sep 2012

Morrison and Co 'having a look' at Stansted

8:27 am on 25 September 2012

Infrastructure investment manager Morrison & Co says it is looking at London's Stansted airport as a potential purchase but has not started the bidding process.

The Telegraph newspaper in Britain reports the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and listed infrastructure investor Infratil are part of a team bidding for the airport.

It says that Morrison & Co, which runs Infratil and manages the Super Fund's global infrastructure investments, is heading the bid team.

The paper reports that Stansted, valued at some £1 billion, was put up for sale last month after its owner, British airport operator BAA, lost a legal fight to stop the forced sale demanded by the Competition Commission. The sale is being handled by Deutsche Bank and ING.

Morrison & Co executive director Steve Fitzgerald confirmed his firm has been looking at the airport but neither his company nor its investors have made a commitment to bid.

"We have expertise in airports, that's an area we've invested in over decades ... so obviously we've been having a look."

Infratil is trying to sell its two smaller British airports - Glasgow Prestwick and Manston in Kent - which The Telegraph says lost about £6 million last year.

Mr Fitzgerald says these airports have not met expectations but the company remains interested in investing in airports.

The paper says Stansted, which is relies heavily on leisure travellers, has been hit hard by the double dip recession and has been shedding passengers since 2007.