Ferrovial looks at selling 10% of BAA stake

Spanish infrastructure and transport company Ferrovial is reportedly in negotiations to sell 10% of its share in UK airports operator BAA. The company expects bids from interested parties by the end of Jan-2011.

Ferrovial paid GBP10 billion for BAA in 2006, but was forced to sell London Gatwick airport for GBP1.9 in 2009, due to concerns raised by the UK Competition Commission. Ferrovial will use the funds from the 10% sale in BAA to help pay down debt and finance other projects.

Ferrovial owns 55.9% of BAA. Once its ownership drops below 50%, the firm reportedly will no longer need to consolidate BAA's debt of about EUR14 billion on its balance sheet. Shares in Ferrovial were up 1.6% in trading yesterday.

Shares in Australian Infrastructure Fund were also up 1.6% in trading yesterday. The company has interests in Australian and European airports, including shares in Perth Airport, HOCHTIEF AirPort Capital, Australia Pacific Airports Corporation, Queensland Airports and NT Airports.

Shares in smaller European airport operators slide yesterday, with Aeroporto di Firenze down 4.1%, Vienna Airport losing 2.6% and Aeroporto Toscano down 2.2%.

Selected airport daily share price movements (% change): 12-Jan-2011