Macquarie Airports to support Sydney Airport's "deleveraging" - share wrap

Macquarie Airports' (MAp) shares nosedived a further 6% in morning trade today (following Friday's 6.2% fall), following an announcement it would cancel its AUD1 billion (USD645 million) share buy-back scheme and instead join other Sydney Airport shareholders in the airport's plan to reduce its debt load. MAp has an effective total 72.1% interest in Sydney Airport.

Sydney Airport shareholders will invest equity to repay AUD870 million (USD561 million) in term debt maturing in Sep/Nov-2009. Once the 2009 debts are retired, Sydney Airport will have no further term debt due until Sep-2011 and its pro-forma net senior debt will be about AUD4.5 billion (USD2.5 billion).

MAp's full pro-rata contribution to the plan to strengthen the airport's balance sheet will be funded from its cash reserves of AUD1.4 billion (USD903 million). MAp, which expects to have cash of more than AUD500 million after the exercise, also said it will cease its current buyback of securities that commenced in November.

MAp also announced its preliminary distribution guidance for 2009 of 27 cents per stapled security - steady year-on-year.

Elsewhere, Hochtief and Ferrovial were also hit hard on 20-Feb-08, slumping 9.6% and 7.7%, respectively.

Selected airports daily share price movements (% change): 20-Feb-09