Malaysian sovereign scoops Globalvia

Spain’s Bankia and FCC are set to sell the infrastructure business, which concluded a €750m fundraising round in 2013, for up to €420m.

Khazanah Nasional Berhad (Khazanah), the investment holding arm of the Malaysian government, has agreed to buy Globalvia, a transport concessions company jointly owned by Spanish lender Bankia and Barcelona-headquartered Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC).

The sellers, which each hold a 50 percent stake in Globalvia, are to receive up to €420 million for the business. They will dispose of the asset for an initial payment of €166 million, followed by a deferred payment of €254 million, the companies said in a statement.

Bankia and FCC put Globalvia on the block at the end of last year, at a time when Madrid-based construction group Ferrovial (via its Cintra subsidiary), Toronto-based firm Bastion Infrastructure Group and Ginkgo Tree Investments, a London-listed subsidiary of China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange, were also thought to be among the interested parties.

The deal remains subject to approval by the UK’s Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), Dutch pension PGGM and Canada-based OPTrust, which hold €750 million worth of bonds convertible into Globalvia shares.

Founded in 2011, Globalvia claims to be the world’s second-largest investor and operator of transport projects. It has since sought to raise money to fund its cash requirements and future investments, a process that reached its conclusion in 2013 when USS, PGGM and OPTrust invested a joint €350 million in the business. That came on top of the initial €400 million PGGM and OPTrust committed in 2011. 

Globalvia’s portfolio includes 31 concessions in seven countries around the world. They comprise highways, railways, hospitals and ports in Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Andorra, Mexico, Costa Rica and Chile.

The transaction is part of FCC’s strategic plan to clean its balance sheet and return to profitability. Following a state-funded €19 billion bailout in 2012, Bankia has for its part committed to divest all industrial assets currently under its ownership.

Some of the key listed businesses backed by Khazanah, which manages about MYR135.1 billion (€32.5 billion; $35.9 billion), include Axiata, Telekom Malaysia, Tenaga Nasional, CIMB Group, PLUS Expressways, Malaysia Airports and UEM Land. It also nationalised Malaysia Airlines in August last year through buying the 30 percent of the carrier it did not already own.

Infrastructure and construction assets represent 3.9 percent of the fund’s portfolio, while transportation and logistics account for 5.2 percent.