Slaughters and McGrigors lead on BAA's £807m Edinburgh Airport sell-off

Slaughter and May, McGrigors and Shepherd and Wedderburn have all advised on BAA’s £807m sale of Edinburgh Airport to investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).

Slaughters has taken the lead role for GIP, with the firm’s team headed up by corporate partner Mark Horton.

The magic circle firm’s team also included finance partner Philip Snell, pensions and employment partner Charles Cameron, tax partner William Watson, intellectual property and IT partner Edward Keeble and real estate partner David Waterfield.

Shepherd and Wedderburn advised GIP on Scottish law, led by real estate partner Michael Henderson.

Meanwhile, McGrigors advised BAA with a team comprising Manchester corporate partner Nick Ogden, Belfast corporate partner Richard Gray and Glasgow corporate partner Kevin Devanny.

Burges Salmon also took a role on the deal, acting for the Competition Commission, with a team led by corporate partner Nick Graves, while Allen & Overy advised the underwriters – Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Credit Suisse, National Australia Bank, RBS and ING Group. The magic circle firm’s team was led by City projects partner Conrad Andersen.

The sale comes after the Competition Commission told BAA in 2009 to sell off Gatwick and Stansted airports, as well as either Edinburgh or Glasgow. Gatwick was sold to GIP for £1.5bn in 2009, with Allen & Overy, Slaughters and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer taking lead advisory roles.

Slaughters’ Horton said: “This sale is the result of a longstanding investigation by the Competition Commission into BAA ownership of UK airports. There is of course still the question of Stansted to be resolved, but I think BAA will be happy with the price they got for Edinburgh.

“This is the first ownership ‘break-up’ order under the Enterprise Act 2002 by the Competition Commission – now they have experience of using such a powerful tool, the market will be watching to see if they take an equally tough approach in other sectors.”

The acquisition was signed yesterday (23 April) with the deal expected to close by the end of May this year. GIP invests in infrastructure assets worldwide and also has a 75% interest in London City Airport.