Qatar Holding buys stake in British airport operator BAA in $1.4 bn deal

Spanish infrastructure firm Ferrovial S A yesterday said that it had sold part of its stake in British airport operator BAA for €607 million ($746 million) to Qatar Holdings in order to invest in the emerging Latin American markets.

The Madrid-based publicly traded company, which held a little under 49 per cent in BAA, had sold a 10.6 per cent stake in FGP Topco, the holding company that owns BAA – which operates London Heathrow Airport, to Qatar's sovereign wealth fund Qatar Holding.

Ferrovial said that it and its consortium partners Britannia Airport Partners and Singapore's GIC will sell a further 10 per cent, to Qatar Holding, giving Qatar's sovereign wealth a fifth of the airport operator's equity and taking the total deal value to €1.144 billion ($1.4 billion).

Ferrovial's stake in BAA will drop to 39.02 per cent from little under 49 per cent as a result of these two transactions, while Qatar Holding will become a member of the boards of FGP Topco and BAA.

In October 2011, Ferrovial had sold 5.9 per cent stake in BAA to two investment vehicles managed by US investment fund Alinda Capital Partners, for €325 million, in order to wipe out BAA's debts from its books.