UK's second largest airport sold to US investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners

BAA has sold Gatwick airport to US investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners, the owners of City Airport, for £1.51bn.

In March, the Spanish operator was ordered by the Competition Commission to should sell three of airports – Gatwick, Stansted and either Edinburgh or Glasgow.

BAA will receive three slices of £55m for the airport from the US fund. The operator says it will use the cash to pay off part of its £12bn debt mountain. The firm made a £575m loss in the first half of year.

Andy Flower, managing director of London Gatwick Airport, said: “Today’s announcement is a landmark day for the airport, our staff, airlines and business partners, members of the local community and of course, the 34 million passengers who choose to fly through Gatwick each year.”

Michael McGhee, a partner at GIP, said that the new owner would upgrade Gatwick airport to “ transform the experience for both business and leisure passengers."

Completion of the sale is expected in early December.