Thursday 30 August 2007

BAA; More trouble ahead.

I have mentioned BAA recently, along with British Airways, as companies in difficult straits. The BBC reports today that BAA is now to shed 2000 odd staff.

It is well known in the industry that BAA has much corporate fat to lose. They have a large M&A department for example that won't be needed now they are owned by the Spanish. They also suffer from a highly unionised force which has kept them from reaping the benefits of technology by downsizing the staff.

However, the real cause of the problem is that with the Credit market turmoil they have been unable to re-finance their loans. The Spanish company bought BAA with a huge chunk of debt at high rates, that they would look to re-arrange after the deal completed. Now they can't do that they need to seek other ways to raise money to pay the debt and try and make a profit.

At this rate the management will be praying for a break up of the monopoly of South East UK Airports, as the only way to realise cash from the business in the next few years!


Newmania said...

Did you see the article in the Stndard showing collusion between The GOverment and BAA over the runway extension. CU I don`t understand your last para are they not a beneficiary of the monopoly ?

Old BE said...

They could always beat the enquiry to it and spin one of the airports off! If it was me it would be Stansted, because then they can argue that their customers shouldn't have to fund Stansted's expansion.

It would kill several birds with one stone.

CityUnslicker said...

N - Well I am all for the government having airport expansion. We need more flights so that we can escape this country, N.

BAA are a beneficiary of the monopoly in theory; however the business is being so badly run that they arenot making the money they need to to service the debt.

The break-up value of the various franchises is more than the current assement that the stockmarket gives to the firm. Hence if they could break-up the monopoly they might make enough in the short-term to sort their financial situation out.

CityUnslicker said...

Ed- that is not a bad idea and I am sure they are considering just that.

However, Gatwick has less long-term potential for development so they might also pick that one too.

Old BE said...

Gatwick would have excellent expansion opportunities if the Govt was to scrap the "moratorium" agreed in the 70s(?). Gatwick is still relatively surrounded by green fields so not nearly as prone to the development problems which plague Heathrow.

I actually prefer Gatwick as an airport to fly out of.

Newmania said...

Thanks I see

CityUnslicker said...

gatwick's infrastructure is very out-dated. The airlines hate flying out of gatwick. With stanstead you can start again with new build.

I prefer to fly from gatwick too, but then i live much closer to it than stanstead or heathrow.

Mark Wadsworth said...

"BAA is now to shed 2000 odd staff"

Which seems a sensible policy, get rid of the wierdos and keep the normal ones.

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