UK's second-biggest airport goes on the market ahead of final competition ruling

BAA has put Gatwick, the UK's second-largest airport, up for sale. The airport has been valued at £1.8bn by regulators, according to the BBC.

Potential bidders include Australian firm MacQuarie, Germany company Fraport - which runs Frankfurt airport - and the owners of Manchester airport.

Virgin Atlantic also revealed last week that it might be interested in forming part of a buying consortium.

Four weeks ago the Competition Commission said that BAA, which is owned by Spanish property firm Ferrovial, might have to sell three of its seven UK airports, because of concerns of its market dominance.

The commission's full report will not be released until next year, but its preliminary report recommended that BAA ought to sell two of its three London airports - Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.

BAA has already ruled out the possibility of selling Heathrow.

BAA chief executive Colin Matthews told the BBC that the market would set the price the airport would realise. Selling the airport was “the right thing for BAA, for Gatwick, to do”, he said.