BAA takeover battle escalates


A bidding war for British airports operator BAA is underway today as offers for the firm approach £10 billion.

Spanish services sector specialists Ferrovial have until the end of the day to raise their offer above the 900p per share bid rejected by BAA on Friday, which valued the company at £9.73 billion.

BAA, who have made it clear they are looking for around 940p per share for their bid, are likely to hang on until the Friday deadline they have set a rival consortium led by financial firm Goldman Sachs.

News today that the Commonwealth Bank of Australia has joined the consortium, boosting its potential offer price, will be welcomed by both BAA's shareholders and leaders of the Goldman Sachs bid.

With BAA trading earlier today close to 910p per share, increases on the rejected 900p per share offer will soon be rising above the trading price for the first time.

But whether Ferrovial or the Goldman Sachs consortium succeeds, it is likely that this week will see the climax of a bidding war which has been ongoing for several months.

With plans already announced to invest £9.5 billion in BAA's expansion programme during the next decade, the group - which owns seven airports in the UK including London's Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted - believes it has done enough to ensure a competitive price for its shareholders.

Investment potential from retail, rental and advertising revenue boosting fees from airlines for take-offs and landings are the main factors driving the attractive investment potential of BAA up and up. But it appears that, for one bidder at least, the lucrative prize of BAA will not be out of reach for much longer.

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