Spanish developer Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC) and nationalised lender Bankia are in the initial stages of selling Globalvia, a transport concessions company in which they own 50 percent each.
According to reports in the local press, Madrid-based construction group Ferrovial – via its subsidiary Cintra – is among the interested parties, as are Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional and Ginkgo Tree Investments, a London-listed subsidiary of China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange.
Toronto-based firm Bastion Infrastructure Group is also said to be looking at the opportunity. Ferrovial declined to comment on the sale process, while Khazanah and Gingko could not be reached before press time. Bastion Infrastructure Group did not respond to request for comments before press time.
In an analyst conference last week, FCC chief financial officer Víctor Pastor said that the company was looking to divest its stake during the first half of 2015. It is understood that potential bidders have until December 9 to submit their offers.
Founded in 2011, Globalvia bills itself as the world’s second-largest investor and operator of transport projects. The company has since sought to raise external liquidity to fund its cash requirements and facilitate further acquisitions, a process that saw the UK’s Universities Superannuation Scheme, Dutch pension PGGM and Toronto-based OPTrust invest a joint €350 million in the business through a mandatory convertible instrument in December last year.
That came on top of the €400 million PGGM and OPTrust subscribed to the financing plan in 2011, and allowed Globalvia to reach its €750 million total fundraising target. Industry insiders say this could now be weighing on the price a potential buyer would be willing to pay, since from 2016 the three pensions will be able to convert the debt into equity to jointly own around 65 percent of the company.
Globalvia’s portfolio now counts 32 assets comprising metros, motorways and a railway operator in Spain as well as highways in Portugal, Ireland, Chile, Costa Rica and Mexico.
The sale forms part of FCC’s strategic plan to clean its balance sheet and return to profitability. On its part, Bankia has committed, following a state-funded €19 billion bailout in 2012, to divest all industrial assets currently in its possession.