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BAA sells US airport concession unit

BAA has sold its US retail management contracts to AMU Holdings, which will continue to manage and develop current retail concessions at Pittsburgh International, Boston Logan, Cleveland Hopkins and Baltimore-Washington airports.

The new entity has been renamed AirMall USA, and its headquarters will remain in Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh International Airport.

The $50 million deal between BAA, which owns and manages six UK airports, and AMU Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prospect Capital, was completed on 30 July. BAA says the sale reflects its ongoing effort to divest its non-core assets.

"At AirMall USA, we are anxious to begin this next chapter with our new owners, Prospect Capital Corporation," says Mark Knight, president of AirMall USA. The company invented the "concept of true street pricing at the airport", Knight adds, and was the first to bring top retailers onto the airport concourse.

Knight touts the recent development of the AirMall concept at Cleveland Hopkins airport. The two-year, $23 million project, includes 7060m2 (76,000ft2) of retail space, nearly doubling the size of the previous programme. Under the leadership of AirMall USA, per-passenger spend at the airport has risen from $5.59 to $8.77.

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