Qatar Holding to Take 20% Stake in UK Airport Operator
Qatar Holding LLC, the sovereign wealth enterprise of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), is purchasing a 20% indirect stake in Heathrow owner BAA Ltd. The Qatar sovereign fund has been a major institutional investor in the United Kingdom and believes the British economy holds great long-term prospects. Qatar Holding is buying 10.62% of the stake from Spanish conglomerate, Ferrovial, S.A. for £478 million. The other 9.38% is coming from two other shareholders, Britannia Airport Partners LP (5.63%) and GIC Special Investments (3.75%). Britannia Airport Partners LP is controlled by Canada’s Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.
The total value of the deal was £900 million. The deal is pending regulatory approval.
Ferrovial is the indirect owner of 49.99% of BAA Ltd. The holding company which owns BAA Limited is FGP Topco Ltd. Some owners in FGP Topco Ltd include Ferrovial, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, and GIC Special Investments. After this transaction, Ferrovial will have a 39.37% indirect stake in BAA.
“The sale of this stake in BAA is part of Ferrovial’s strategy of establishing a market valuation of our assets and improving the structure of our investment portfolio,” Ferrovial CEO Inigo Meiras said in a statement.
Ferrovial is selling the stake to finance its agenda to invest more into Latin America. Ferrovial is bidding for airports in Puerto Rico and Brazil. In 2006, the firm bought BAA for £10.3 billion using a significant amount of leverage.