Naples airport departs BAA, lands at F2i

The Ferrovial-owned airports operator has announced the sale of its 65% stake in Naples airport to a subsidiary of Italian fund F2i for €150m.

BAA, the UK airports operator owned by Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial, announced today that it has sold its entire stake in Naples airport to a subsidiary of Italian infrastructure fund F2i.

Following completion of the transaction, expected later this year, F2i will acquire BAA’s 65 percent stake in GESAC – the vehicle that holds the concession for Naples airport until 2043 – for €150 million. Of that amount, “€13 million will be deferred for three years on an unconditional basis and fully backed by on demand bank letters of credit,” BAA said, adding that it may monetise the deferred consideration at or around the closing of the deal.

As previously reported on Infrastructure Investor, a source close to Ferrovial said that the BAA owner had received several spontaneous offers for BAA’s stake in Naples airport, with a spokeswoman from F2i later confirming that the €1.85 billion fund was one of the bidders.

BAA said the sale is part of its strategy of divesting its international, non-core airport assets to refocus on its UK airports. Parent company Ferrovial has been selling several mature assets to reduce its debt pile and has recently concluded the sale of a 60 percent stake in its Chilean toll road operations to Colombian power group ISA.

F2i announced in late May that it had teamed up with an Italian utility for a takeover offer for a Genoese water company.

The fund also made the headlines earlier this year by lodging a lawsuit in a Milan court against American bank Citigroup. F2i said Citigroup started raising its infrastructure fund at the same time it had been hired by F2i to find investors for its vehicle – which it saw as a conflict of interest. After 18 months, Citigroup reported it had been unable to find investors for F2i. The Italian fund is now thought to be looking for up to €100 million in damages.