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Manchester Airport buys Stansted for £1.5bn

Airport operator Heathrow has agreed to sell Stansted Airport to Manchester Airports Group for £1.5bn.

The Competition Commission forced Heathrow - formally known as BAA - into selling Stansted last year following a long legal battle.

The sale leaves Heathrow with just four airports - Heathrow, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton.

Stansted airport is London’s third busiest airport and the UK’s fourth busiest airport. It performs an important role as London’s base for low-cost airlines. Around 17.5M passengers and 133,500 flights pass through Stansted every year.

Some 16 airlines operate from Stansted, serving more than 150 destinations in 32 countries. The airport is a major cargo centre with over 205,000t of cargo handled a year.

The airport’s estimated pre-tax profits in 2012 were £94.2M with an asset worth of £1.34bn.

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