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BAA sells Edinburgh airport for $1.3 billion

LONDON (AP) -- Airport operator BAA Ltd. said Monday it has agreed to sell Edinburgh airport to Global Infrastructure Partners for 807 million pounds ($1.3 billion).

The sale complies with an order by the Competition Commission, the U.K.'s antitrust watchdog, that BAA dispose of either its Edinburgh or Glasgow airport.

BAA, which also owns Heathrow airport, sold Gatwick airport to Global Infrastructure Partners for 1.5 billion pounds in 2009 but has yet to dispose of Stansted airport, which also serves London.

BAA's challenge to the order to sell Stansted was rejected by the Competition Appeal Tribunal in February, but the company is now taking its case to the Court of Appeal.

BAA is owned by a consortium led by Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial. Global Infrastructure Partners also owns London City airport.

The Competition Commission said Global Infrastructure Partners had offered a pledge that it would not sell Edinburgh Airport within five years without the commission's approval.

"GIP's track record is very strong and we anticipate that customers at Edinburgh Airport will soon see the benefits of new management approaches, and that Scottish passengers and airlines more generally will also gain from the introduction of a more competitive environment," said Laura Carstensen, chairman of the Competition Commission's BAA Remedies Implementation Group.

"We hope to be in a position to proceed with the sale of Stansted before too long," she added.