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Hong Kong billionaire Ka-shing enters race for a stake in Manchester Airport

Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd (HKG:1038), the infrastructure investment vehicle controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, is among the shortlisted bidders competing for 50% of Manchester Airports Group Plc, the Sunday Times reported without specifying sources.

According to the newspaper, the list also features Australian fund Industry Funds Management and a joint venture set up by 3i Infrastructure Plc (LON:3IN) and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.The group of sellers, which comprises ten local authorities, is expected to pick its preferred bidder within a month.

The sale is expected to fetch about GBP1bn (USD1.6bn/EUR1.2bn) for Manchester Airports Group, which intends to use the proceeds to pursue its own acquisition target. The target in question is Stansted airport, whose owner BAA Airports Ltd is expected to put it on the block later in 2012.

Success in the Stansted campaign is a condition for the sale of the 50% stake in Manchester Airports Group. The company said it would not make a final decision until it had identified a potential investment partner.

In addition to the airport in Manchester, Manchester Airports Group manages the East Midlands, Bournemouth and Humberside airports. In 2011, the facilities processed 23m passengers. The company delivered GBP350m in revenues, making pre-tax profits of GBP80m, the Sunday Times added.


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