Spain's Koplowitz could sell part of FCC holding in debt deal - source

MADRID, June 12 Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:43am EDT

MADRID, June 12 (Reuters) - Spanish billionaire Esther Koplowitz could sell some of her stake in the holding company that controls builder FCC as part of a debt restructuring deal, said a source who is working on the refinancing.

The Koplowitz family fully owns B-1998, which in turn owns just over 50 percent of the builder.

"It is true that there are refinancing negotiations that could involve the sale of part of the holding. There are talks with a lot of people," said the source, who asked not to be named due to the confidentiality of the process.

FCC shares were the top gainers on Thursday morning on Spain's benchmark index, up 4.75 percent to 17.64 euros per share.

Spanish online business report Elconfidencial.com said on Thursday an investment vehicle of George Soros and other funds were in talks with Koplowitz to inject between 400 million and 600 million euros ($545 million-$817 million) into B-1998.

It was not immediately possible to contact anyone at the New York offices of Soros Fund Management.

The source did not confirm who Koplowitz was in talks with, but said Koplowitz would not necessarily lose control of FCC.

"A capital injection in B-1998 that, according to the press, faces major debt maturities, will be a relief for the group and would also be positive for FCC," Banc Sabadell said in a research note.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates holds 5.74 percent of FCC after reporting a stake earlier this year, according to Thomson Reuters data. A Soros investment vehicle holds 3.1 percent of the company through equities swaps, the source said.

Among B-1998's biggest creditors are Spanish banks BBVA and Bankia. The privately held company does not report its debt load.

($1 = 0.7345 Euros) (Reporting by Carlos Ruano; Editing by Fiona Ortiz and Mark Potter)