The Sunday Times reported the news yesterday without citing a source for the information.
London-based 3i has reportedly expressed an interest in buying Tui and Thomas Cook’s 12 per cent stake, which the companies have hired Rothschild to sell as both see the interest as being non-core.
The travel companies are part of a consortium of seven investors called the Airline Group which own a 42 per cent stake in Nats. They include British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and easyJet.
The British government is the single largest shareholder in Nats with a 49 per cent interest, while its 5,000 staff own the remaining five per cent stake.
Nats handles about 5,300 daily flights and is valued at about £1bn, the report said.
Rothschild is understood to have sent out marketing materials to potential suitors, which could include pension funds and small infrastructure investors, the report added.
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