BAA is braced for offers well short of £2bn when at least five bidders meet today’s deadline for first-round bids for Gatwick Airport.

The UK airports operator, which has put the Sussex airport up for sale before it was forced to dispose of it by the Competition Commission, is hoping to fetch at least £2bn for Gatwick.

Sources close to the bidders suggest, however, that initial bids are likely to be close to the airport’s regulated asset base (RAB) of £1.7bn. The RAB is a proxy for Gatwick’s value set by industry regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority.

BAA, which faces widespread protests over its plans to build a third runway at Heathrow, could not pick a worse time to sell Gatwick.

Daily Telegraph