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Ferrovial closes £13.3 bln BAA refinancing

Spanish construction firm Ferrovial said on Monday it had completed the £13.3 billion refinancing of its British airports which includes £3 billion for new investment. 

The company won support from its bondholders last week for a key step in refinancing the debt pile, and had been expected to announce the final details in August. The deal comes just as the UK competition watchdog is due to report provisional findings on the Spanish group’s British airports division BAA, which could lead to a forced sale of one of its seven airports.

On Saturday, BAA Chairman Nigel Rudd told the BBC he expected the watchdog to recommend the breakup, but added it would not be a financial disaster. On Monday, BAA said if the watchdog recommended the sale of one or more of the airports, the terms of the refinancing were sufficiently flexible to permit the sale without affecting the deal’s conditions. Under the terms of the refinancing, the main airports held by BAA, Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, will be hived off into a separate structure known as the “designated airports”.

Ferrovial said of the £12.2 billion raised for these three airports, 4.4 billion would go towards new bank facilities and 2.75 billion was new committed, undrawn bank facilities to fund working capital and immediate investment projects. BAA has secured £1.255 billion of seven-year bank facilities consisting of £1 billion of term loans and a 244 million capex and working capital facility, secured against its “non-designated airports”. BAA’s non-designated airports include Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton. (Reuters)