Ferrovial makes offer for airports

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Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial has made an offer to Heathrow Airport Holdings for airports Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton, a source said yesterday.

Newspaper Expansion said the offer, for which Ferrovial has held talks over a joint bid with at least two Australian funds – Macquarie and Industry Funds Management – was worth £800m, citing industry sources.

Ferrovial declined to comment. HAH said they could not comment and referred calls to spokespeople for Ferrovial.

The Spanish company, which holds a 25 per cent stake in HAH, previously BAA, has been on the hunt to strengthen its airport business as it seeks to diversify further from its crisis-hit domestic construction business.

But its partners in the HAH consortium – Britannia Airport Partners, Singapore’s GIC, Qatar Holding and Alinda Capital Partners – are looking to focus on Heathrow, Britain’s busiest airport, and divest the holding’s other airports.

Ferrovial bought Heathrow and a number of other UK airports as part of its acquisition of BAA in 2006 for £10.3bn in a highly leveraged deal, but has gradually sold stakes to new partners at a profit to reduce debt.

Analysts said a $1.3bn price for the deal implied a multiple of 13 times the three airports’ estimated 2013 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

Last year Ferrovial failed with a bid for Brazil’s five largest airports and had been eyeing the on-and-off privatisation of Chicago’s Midway airport.