MADRID, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Spanish infrastructure firm
Ferrovial said on Friday it had sold part of its stake
in British airport operator BAA Ltd to Qatar to finance its bid
to push further into faster growing markets such as Latin
Ferrovial sold a 10.6 percent stake in FGP Topco, the
holding company that owns BAA - which runs London's Heathrow
airport - for 607 million euros to Qatar Holding, the finance
arm of the Gulf Arab state's sovereign wealth fund.
Analysts said Ferrovial, whose investment in BAA has been
dented by UK regulators' crackdown over its dominant position,
achieved a good price for its stake given economic conditions
and was likely to use the proceeds to invest abroad. The company
is bidding for airports in Brazil and Puerto Rico.
"It's 3 percent below the price they achieved in 2011," said
RBC Capital analyst Olivia Peters, referring to Ferrovial's sale
of 5.88 percent of BAA to Alinda Capital Partners for 325
million euros in October 2011. "It implies 13.7 times Editda,
and if you strip out Edinburgh it's more like 13.9 times."
Ferrovial bought BAA in 2006 for 10.3 billion pounds in a
It had planned to keep all of the British firm's airports
and make them more efficient by outsourcing services, but BAA
was forced by the UK regulator to sell Gatwick - Britain's
second busiest airport behind London Heathrow - for which it got
1.5 billion pounds in 2009. It was also made to sell Edinburgh
airport, which was bought by Global Infrastructure Partners for
807 million pounds in April this year.
In England, BAA currently owns Southampton and Stansted,
which it is also being forced to sell, as well as Glasgow and
Aberdeen airports in Scotland.
BAA's other shareholders, Britannia Airport Partners and
GIC, also sold stakes to Qatar Holding, which as a consequence
now holds a 20 percent stake in the British operator.
Most of Ferrovial's business is based in Spain, but the
company also has operations in Europe, as well as the United
States, Canada and Chile, and invests in airports and toll
roads, among other projects.
Ferrovial stock trades at more than 27 times current
earnings, higher than any of its Spanish rivals, many of which
are hampered by the fallout from the bursting of a property boom
in Spain, which has plunged the country into recession.
Ferrovial shares closed up 5.9 percent at 9.476 euros,
outperforming a 1.9 percent rise on the IBEX index.