LONDON, England – London City Airport could fetch £2 billion after being put up for sale by US investment firm Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), according to reports.
The owners of the international airport, located in the Royal Docks in Newham, are currently hiring advisers with a view to selling the site within the next few months.
“The market demand for quality airports is very high,” Michael McGhee, director for transport at GIP, told the Financial Times.
GIP owns the majority of London City Airport, holding a 75% stake, but Oaktree Capital, which owns the other 25%, has agreed to the sale, the FT claimed.
GIP also owns 42% of Gatwick Airport and Edinburgh Airport but is not believed to looking to sell those assets.
GIP bought London City Airport in 2006 for around £750 million from Irish businessman Dermot Desmond.
The airport, which was developed by engineering company Mowlem in 1986, boasts a single 1,500 meter runway and due to its proximity to the City, mainly serves business travelers. It handles planes that fly to European destinations such as Amsterdam, Dublin, Madrid and Florence.
It welcomed a record 3.6 million passengers last year, up 8% on 2013.
However, expansion could be difficult. London Mayor Boris Johnson cited noise concerns when he blocked planning permission to increase the size of the site to accommodate 6 million passengers. The airport is awaiting the result of an appeal against that decision.
It is the 15th busiest airport in the UK.