Abertis divests Mexican airport assets

The Spanish developer has sold its full stake in Aeropuertos Mexicanos del Pacifico for €172m as it continues its divestment of non-core assets.

Barcelona-based Abertis has sold its 33.3 percent stake in Aeropuertos Mexicanos del Pacifico (AMP), which in turn holds a 17.4 percent stake in Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico, thus divesting all airport assets it held in Mexico to date.

The stake will be sold through Abertis’ wholly-owned subsidiary Desarrollo de Concesiones Aeroportuarias to Promotora Aeronautica del Pacifico for a net €172 million, the Spanish developer said in a statement on Wednesday.

As a result of the sale, subject to regulatory approval, the only other airport asset Abertis currently holds is MBJ, the concessionaire of Jamaica’s Montego Bay Airport.

The company has refocused its business in the last few years on toll roads and telecommunications and has expressed its intent to divest what it considers to be non-core assets, such as airports.

“The Group has continued to work in 2013 to achieve greater targeting of its asset portfolio with the sale of the airport business for a total amount of €835 million,” Abertis chief executive Francisco Reynés wrote in the company’s 2013 annual report.

“Overall, the Group has accumulated €4,000 million in income from divestments since January 2011 which has enabled it to target the company’s operations on its two core businesses, toll roads and telecommunications, and reinvest them with more attractive returns,” he continued.

According to the statement, divestment of the airport business, including this current deal, has resulted in net book gains of €10 million for the Spanish company.

Asked whether the company expected to sell its last airport asset in 2014, an Abertis spokesperson told Infrastructure Investor that the timing was not known. “We are not in any hurry. We will do so when the right opportunity comes along,” he said.

Abertis acquired its stake in AMP in 2007, when a number of airport assets were acquired along with Desarrollo de Concesiones Aeroportuarias.