* AENA teams up with AXA PE to buy Luton Airport - source
* Abertis' 90 percent of Luton worth 400 million euros
(Adds AXA PE source on bid and background)
MADRID/PARIS, June 3 Barcelona-based
infrastructure firm Abertis is in talks with Spanish
airport operator AENA to sell its stake in London Luton Airport,
a spokesman said, in deal valued by the market at about 400
million euros ($521 million).
AENA, with a current 10 percent stake in Luton, is teaming
up with AXA Private Equity of France to buy Abertis's 90 percent
stake, a source familiar with the talks said on Monday.
Under the terms of its ownership pact with AENA, the Spanish
airport holding has first refusal over Abertis' stake, put up
for sale earlier this year as part of plan to focus on its toll
road and telecommunications businesses.
Analysts have said AENA may want to expand its assets ahead
of a government plan to privatise a minority stake in the
holding company, but its heavy debt pile - 15 billion euros in
2011 - means that it needs a financial partner for such a bid.
AENA operates 50 Spanish airports, including Madrid's
Barajas and Barcelona's El Prat, while AXA PE has assets of $32
billion managed or advised in Europe, North America and Asia,
including a wide infrastructure portfolio.
Spokeswomen for AENA and AXA Private Equity declined to
($1 = 0.7675 euros)
(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Madrid and Christian Plumb in
Paris; Editing by Lionel Laurent and Louise Heavens)