LONDON, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Brussels airport is being prepared for a potential sale as one of its owners is planning an exit from Belgium's main hub, several people close to the matter said.
Brussels is Europe's 26th largest airport and serves as hub for Brussels Airlines, which is being fully taken over by Lufthansa. It saw passenger numbers drop 7 percent last year to 21.8 million as a result of the attacks in March, which forced the closure of the airport for 12 days.
Australian Macquarie's infrastructure fund, which owns a 36 percent stake, is currently in talks with co-owner Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP), which has 39 percent, on whether the Canadian investor wants to increase its stake, the people said.
If those negotiations fail to come to a successful end, an auction will be started to find a third party investor, they said, adding that JP Morgan has been tasked with overseeing the process.
Macquarie and JP Morgan declined to comment. (Additional reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Maria Sheahan)