Abertis Sells Belfast, Swedish Hubs to ADC-HAS for $374 Million

Spain’s Abertis Infraestructuras SA (ABE) agreed to sell airports in Sweden and Northern Ireland together with a management contract at the world’s busiest hub in Atlanta to U.S.-based ADC & HAS for 284 million euros ($374 million).

The deal includes Belfast International and Stockholm Skavsta airports, plus terminal concessions at Orlando Sanford in Florida and the U.S. management business of Abertis’s TBI unit, which includes the Atlanta contract, it said today.

Following the disposal, Barcelona-based Abertis will be left with only London Luton airport among European assets bought via a 90 percent stake in TBI in 2005, after agreeing to sell a terminal in Cardiff to the Welsh government in March for 61 million euros. The company still owns or manages airports in Latin America and Caribbean through DCA, acquired in 2007.

Abertis, which also runs toll roads and provides telecommunications infrastructure, said today’s agreement with ADC & HAS Airports Worldwide reflects a strategy of “continually managing its portfolio to optimize the company’s asset base.”

Buyer ADC & HAS was formed in 2008 by Airport Development Corporation of Canada and Houston Airport System, backed by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System pension plan.

Atlanta Terminal

Based in Houston, ADC & HAS currently has stake in airports in Ecuador and Costa Rica. The TBI contracts in the U.S. that are being acquired as part of the deal include management of a 28-gate international terminal at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson plus contracts at Raleigh-Durham, Bob Hope airport in California and Middle Georgia Regional Macon Downtown in Georgia.

Abertis will receive 90 percent of transaction proceeds, with Aena International, its Spanish partner in TBI, getting the rest. The businesses being offloaded would have contributed about 78 million euros in revenue this year, the company said.

European airport ownership is in a state of flux, with Hochtief AG (HOT) agreeing to sell its airports unit to Public Sector Pension Investment Board of Canada in May in a deal valuing a business that includes stakes in Athens, Budapest, Dusseldorf and Hamburg airports at about 1.5 billion euros.

The cash-strapped Portuguese government in December agreed to sell state-owned airport operator ANA-Aeroportos de Portugal SA to French builder Vinci SA (DG) for 3.08 billion euros.

Antitrust regulators also caused London Heathrow-owner Ferrovial SA (FER) of Madrid to sell the U.K. capital’s Gatwick and Stansted hubs in recent years, together with Edinburgh airport in Scotland. Balfour Beatty Plc (BBY), Britain’s biggest builder, last month also sold Exeter airport in England to Rigby Group Plc.

Abertis’s sale of the TBI assets to ADC & HAS is subject to approval by local authorities.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Pashley in London at apashley@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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