ICA Postpones Plan to Sell Stake in Airport Operator OMABrendan Case and Jonathan Levin
Empresas ICA SAB, the Mexican construction company seeking to raise cash to cut debt, postponed the sale of part of its stake in airport operator Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte SAB.
“Global market volatility in recent weeks” drove the decision, ICA said today in a statement to the Mexican stock exchange. Shares of the airport operator known as OMA plunged 23 percent through yesterday from May 15, when ICA announced it would unload 24 percent of OMA.
The OMA deal is the second asset sale in a month to go awry for ICA, whose credit rating was reduced by Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s in May due to falling revenue, rising debt and delays in public-works spending by President Enrique Pena Nieto. An agreement to sell most of its housing unit to Servicios Corporativos Javer SAPI was abandoned May 31.
OMA reversed an earlier decline and surged 5.4 percent to close at 40 pesos on speculation that the sale was being put off. Mexico City-based ICA fell 3.4 percent to 22.24 pesos.
Even with a sale of the OMA holding, ICA would have continued to control the smaller company through a separate class of shares. The transaction was supposed to take place today, according to a prospectus.
ICA announced the sale of its minority stake in a Mexican tollway operator last week to majority owner Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for 5.07 billion pesos ($384 million).