Ferrovial to remain largest shareholder of Heathrow

The infrastructure conglomerate intends to retain its current 25% stake, despite selling nearly 9% of the airport group to USS last week.

 Spanish developer Ferrovial has no further plans to divest Heathrow Holdings, it said upon the release of its interim results yesterday.

The company currently holds 25 percent of the group, formerly known as BAA, which comprises the UK’s Heathrow, Southampton, Aberdeen and Glasgow airports. The stake is owned via FGP Topco, the parent company of Heathrow Holdings. Ferrovial remains the largest shareholder in the group.

The declaration comes just a week after Ferrovial sold an 8.65 percent stake in FGP Topco to Universities Superannuation Scheme, the UK’s second largest pension fund, for £392 million (€460 million; $636 million). It had already sold a 10.62 percent stake to Qatar Holding last December and 5.88 percent to Alinda Capital Partner in 2011.

Qatar Holding is now the second largest shareholder in Heathrow, of which it owns 20 percent. Prior to the Ferrovial deal, the sovereign investor had acquired stakes from Britannia Airport Partners and Singapore’s GIC in August 2012, of 5.63 percent and 3.75 percent respectively.

Ferrovial unveiled positive results yesterday, posting a €485 million net profit in the first nine month of 2013, a 2 percent year-on-year increase. Revenues also expanded by 4.9 percent to €5.9 billion, driven by growth in international activity.

This was exemplified by notable deals in the third quarter, which included the expansion of the North Tarrant Express (NTE) in Texas as well as the contract to upgrade central Scotland’s motorway network, awarded to a consortium involving Cintra, Amey and Ferrovial Agroman. That followed its acquisition of UK public services business Enterprise and Chilean mining company Steel Ingeniería in the previous quarters.

In the coming months, Ferrovial is due to take part in the bidding processes for Brazil’s Galeao (Rio de Janeiro) and Confins (Belo Horizonte) airports, which the government intends to privatise. The group is also looking at potential deal opportunities in Chile and Colombia, it said yesterday.