UPDATE 1-Spanish billionaire sells out of builder Sacyr

Tue Mar 5, 2013 2:41pm EST

Related Topics

* Builder's shares fell over 50 pct last year

* Move is to generate cash, invest outside Spain (Adds details on price, consequences to Repsol)

MADRID, March 5 (Reuters) - Spanish billionaire Juan Abello sold his 9.6 percent stake in Spanish builder Sacyr for 70.2 million euros ($96.40 million)on Tuesday in a move to generate cash and invest outside his home country.

Abello has been a key shareholder in Sacyr for the last 11 years and sold out despite a heavy fall in the builder's share price as the company battles with the collapse of the country's housing market.

Sacyr shares fell more than 50 percent last year and have risen 1.8 percent so far this year.

The investment fund Torreal, led by Abello, had accumulated a 9.6 percent stake in Sacyr.

Torreal sold the stake partly through Goldman Sachs, which made a private placement of a 2.8 percent stake through 20.3 million euros, a 4.2 percent discount on Sacyr's closing price.

The rest of the stake was sold at prices ranging from 1.618 euros per share to 1.712 euros per share. Sacyr shares closed on Tuesday at 1.71 euros.

"They needed money to make other investments, particularly outside Spain," a Torreal spokesman told Reuters.

The sale came a day after data from Forbes rich list ranked him Spain's ninth richest man and the 704th richest man in the world.

Forbes said Abello had invested in all kinds of businesses after selling a family pharmaceutical business in 1985, had a net worth of $2.1 billion.

Forbes said Abello was also known for his valuable art collection, which includes works by Pablo Picasso, Francisco Goya, El Greco, Edgar Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Salvador Dali, Francis Bacon, and Van Gogh, among others.

Abello is a highly influential businessman since he has invested over the years in many industries, from banking to textiles.

The Torreal sale will mean Abello will have to step down as vice chairman of Sacyr, a removal which will also trigger his withdrawal from the board of Spanish oil major Repsol in which Sacyr has a 10 percent stake.

($1 = 0.7677 euros) (Reporting By Andres Gonzalez and Sarah Morris; Editing by Julien Toyer, Bernard Orr)

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