3i-led group hovering over capital airport

3i are suitors to Edinburgh airport, which is being sold by BAA. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
3i are suitors to Edinburgh airport, which is being sold by BAA. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
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PRIVATE equity firm 3i has joined forces with two powerful City investors to add its name to a growing list of potential bidders for Edinburgh airport.

3i is understood to have teamed up with Britain’s second biggest pension fund, the Universities Superannuation Scheme, and M&G Investments, with a view to launching a bid early in the new year when BAA publishes the sale prospectus.

Spanish-owned BAA is being forced to offload the airport – which has been valued at some £457 million – by the Competition Commission, and the asset has already attracted strong interest, including from Edinburgh investment banker Ben Thomson and former Edinburgh airport managing director Richard Jeffrey.

American buy-out heavyweight Carlyle Group and Noble Grossart are in talks with other possible Scottish investors about putting together a bid.