Ferrovial makes bid to buy Aberdeen, Glasgow & Southampton airports – hoping to make more profit than at Heathrow

Ferrovial had made an offer – for an undisclosed amount – to buy Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports from its partners in Heathrow Airport Holdings. The price might be as much as £800 million.  Ferrovial is the largest shareholder in Heathrow, with 25%. Heathrow Holdings has made it clear for sometime that it is eager to sell its other remaining airports.  It is understood that Ferrovial is not making the offer in partnership with any other company, though some reports suggest that Australian infrastructure companies Macquarie and Industry Funds Management are also involved.  It is not known if Ferrovial’s bid will be accepted.  A Portuguese bank has valued the 3 airports at  £952m using an equity value/earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of 12.3 times for Aberdeen and Glasgow and 10.7 times for Southampton. Ferrovial bought BAA in 2006 for £10.3bn. It has since offloaded Gatwick, Stansted and Edinburgh in order to lower its debt. Now it is keen to buy again.  Ferrovial hopes UK regional airports will grow strongly for the next few years, if the UK economy starts to grow, as they have a large amount of unused capacity.  By contrast, the CAA has limited the amount Heathrow can charge airlines for landing charges, so decreasing the return available from Heathrow. 


Ferrovial makes bid to buy Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports

The bid from biggest single shareholder in Heathrow airport is thought to be worth £800m
By , transport correspondent  (Guardian)
  • 17 February 2014
Glasgow airport: the Ferrovial bid comes in conjunction with two Australian partners, Macquarie and Industry Funds Management.

Ferrovial, the biggest single shareholder in Heathrow, has made a bid to buy Heathrow Airport Holdings’ three other British airports outright.

The Spanish infrastructure company is believed to have made a bid worth £800m for Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports.

The bid comes in conjunction with two Australian partners, Macquarie and Industry Funds Management. Ferrovial has struggled in Spain with the slump in the construction sector and is looking to strengthen its hand in airports again.

A Ferrovial-led consortium bought the then BAA in 2006 but has since sold down its stake to 25%. Some of the group’s other major holdings – Gatwick, Stansted and Edinburgh – were sold off under the direction of the Competition Commission, leaving Heathrow airport itself as by the far the biggest driver of profits for the group.

The sovereign wealth funds and pension funds on Heathrow’s board – Britannia Airport Partners, Singapore’s GIC, Qatar Holding and Alinda Capital Partners – are believed to be willing to divest the other holdings and focus solely on the UK’s largest airport.

Ferrovial and Heathrow both declined to comment.



Of the remaining stakes in FGP Topco, Heathrow’s parent company, the Qatari sovereign wealth fund holds 20%; Canadian pension fund CDPQ has 135; the Singaporean wealth fund 12%; Alinda Capital Partners 11%; the Chinese sovereign wealth fund 11%; and the Universities Superannuation Scheme holds 9%.



See also FT article (££) at

Ferrovial offers to buy UK regional airports



Analysts said Ferrovial would see an opportunity to expand the smaller, unregulated airports at a time when the CAA’s ruling on higher landing charges was decreasing the return available from Heathrow. Ferrovial has said the return the CAA is offering on Heathrow is not sufficient to generate investment.

Ferrovial also has a construction business, affording it the opportunity to do expansion works itself.





Speculation that GIP, Ferrovial and MAG interested in buying Aberdeen Glasgow and/or Southampton airports

November 13, 2013      Sky News has learned “from banking sources” that various infrastructure investors are interested in buying Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports – amid expectations that their owner, Heathrow Holdings, will opt to sell them – to focus on its ownership of Heathrow. It is understood that Heathrow is considering a plan to offload, following a string of unsolicited approaches from prospective buyers. Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) which owns Gatwick and City airports, has expressed an interest in buying Aberdeen airport, although it has not yet made a formal bid. A number of Heathrow’s shareholders and board members are said to be keen to dispose of the 3 regional airports but its board has not yet made a formal decision. Ferrovial now only owns 25% of Heathrow,and is reported as now likely to be interested in buying one or more of the airports, through a separate vehicle. MAG is also understood to want to buy one or more of them.    Click here to view full story…