BAA Rejects Goldman Sachs Bid for British Airport Operations

BAA PLC, which operates major airports serving London, said Sunday that it had received and turned down a takeover bid from the investment bank Goldman Sachs worth about 9.4 billion pounds ($16.5 billion).

BAA said in a statement that the offer, which it received March 30, failed to "reflect the true value of the company."

The statement came after a report in The Sunday Times said a team from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. had approached BAA to register its interest in a "friendly" bid.

BAA also recently rejected a takeover bid from a consortium led by Spain's Grupo Ferrovial SA which valued BAA at $15.3 billion.

BAA operates seven airports in Britain, including in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Southampton, and several in London.

On Tuesday, BAA reported that traffic at its airports was down 1.3 percent in March, a downbeat ending to a financial year which logged a 2 percent increase.

BAA said traffic at London's Heathrow airport was down 3.8 percent in March and 0.3 percent for the full year.

The company blamed the slump at Heathrow on a softening British economy, the impact of the London terrorist bombings in July, a labor dispute involving catering staff last summer and higher oil prices.

London's Gatwick airport, however, reported passenger numbers up 2.6 percent and London Stansted gained 2.2 percent.

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