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Deals that changed the market in 2006: Airport Development and Investment acquisition of BAA

Growing investor appetite for infrastructure and an ingenious deal structure meant that concerns about the size of a bid for BAA were overcome.

Six deals that changed the market in 2006

Deal type: Airport Development and Investment’s £16.4 billion acquisition of BAA
Adviser: Citigroup, Macquarie
Legal adviser: Freshfields (to ADI)
Date: June 2006

It was the deal that had always been seen as impossible to do. Ever since the UK government’s golden share in airports operator BAA (which gave it the option to block any takeover) was ruled illegal by the European Court of Justice in 2003, the company has been a potential target. But the market wisdom was that any takeover would simply be too big and too difficult. “When we started working on the deal it was viewed as a long shot,” admits Philip Robert Tissot, managing director and head of UK investment banking at Citigroup in London. “We knew that other parties had looked at it before but concluded that it was just too big and too difficult.” BAA owns London’s Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports, as well as stakes in other airports in Europe and Australia.

As such, for anyone wanting to invest in the airport sector the company must have looked very tempting.

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