Spanish construction group Ferrovial has entered into an agreement to sell an 8.65% stake in airports operator Heathrow Airport Holdings (HAH) to British pensions fund Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited (USS) for £392m.
Ferrovial, which currently holds a 33.65% stake, agreed to divest its stake in FGP Topco, the holding company that owns Heathrow Airport Holdings (HAH).
HAH, formerly known as BAA, owns and runs London Heathrow Airport, Britain’s aviation hub and other UK airports, such as Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton.
Following the transaction, which is expected to be completed on 24 October 2013, Ferrovial will remain the largest shareholder in HAH with a 25% stake.
USS will also hold the seventh largest stake in HAH behind China Investment, the sovereign wealth fund that acquired a 10% stake in October 2012.
Ferrovial noted that the transaction brings further enhancement to its flexibility to undertake infrastructure and services projects as part of its international expansion strategy.
Ferrovial CEO Íñigo Meirás said that the sale of a stake in HAH is a further part of Ferrovial’s investment diversification strategy.
"Following this deal, we reiterate our role in HAH as the main shareholder and industrial partner in the long term."
"We are pleased with the addition of a British pension fund to the group of international investors who are already part of Heathrow. Having long-term investors of the quality of the USS will only strengthen Heathrow," Meirás added.
Ferrovial had acquired BAA in 2006 in a £10.3bn deal, and the company gradually slashed the stake over the past two years – from 62% to the current 25%.
USS is the principal defined benefit pension scheme for universities and other higher education institutions in the UK, and has total fund assets of approximately £40bn.
Image: Ferrovial noted that the stake sale will bring further enhancement to its flexibility to undertake infrastructure and services projects.