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Dealwatch: A&O, Hogan Lovells and Freshfields help Heathrow’s £1bn airport sale take off

Allen & Overy (A&O), Hogan Lovells and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have led on Heathrow Airport Holdings sale of Aberdeen International Airport, Glasgow Airport and Southampton International Airport to a consortium formed by Ferrovial and Macquarie for £1.05bn.

Heathrow has agreed to sell its 100% stake in all three airports, which combined handle 12.5 million passengers a year, though the deal is still subject to EU merger regulation. Closing is expected before the end of January 2015 with the sale consideration expected to increase to compensate Heathrow for the delay.

A&O is advising Ferrovial and Macquarie led by infrastructure partners Richard Evans and Conrad Andersen, while Pinsent Masons advised on Scottish aspects, with partner Richard Linton and senior associate Andrew Crichton

Freshfields advised Heathrow Airport Holdings, led by corporate partner Stephen Hewes and Laurie McFadden, while Hogan Lovells acted for the consortium of banks, led by infrastructure and project finance partner Andrew Gallagher.

Ferrovial chief executive Iñigo Meirás said: ‘As a long standing investor in the UK, we are aware of the importance of these airports for the population in their surrounding areas. The transaction proves how valuable these assets are for Ferrovial.’

Freshfields worked alongside Heathrow Airport Holdings (formerly BAA) legal head Carol Hui (Profile) who has overseen the company’s legal department during the sale of all of its airports except for Heathrow and in-house counsel Catherine Ledger and Irina Janakievska. BAA sold Gatwick in 2010 for £1.5bn and committed to selling Edinburgh Airport in 2011, but it conducted a long-running legal battle to keep control of Stansted, which was ultimately lost after a Supreme Court ruling in 2012, leading to Stansted’s sale to Manchester Airports Group for £1.5bn.