* FCC unveils details of new three-year strategy
* New plan includes asset sales and job cuts to lift profits
* Expects to sign 3-year refinancing deal on Realia debt
(Adds Realia debt refinancing)
By Andrés González
MADRID, March 20 Spanish building group FCC
aims to refinance debt at its Realia property
arm ahead of its planned sale, the first step in the group's new
strategy to cut costs and focus on its core infrastructure and
Presenting a new three-year strategic plan on Wednesday, FCC
said it would sell assets outside its core infrastructure and
environmental services business to cut debt by a third to 5.2
billion euros and boost profits.
Realia, in which FCC shares ownership with nationalised
lender Bankia, is one of the assets up for sale, along
with its concession and energy businesses.
But Realia had 2.17 billion euros ($2.8 billion) of debt at
the end of 2012.
"We're in the final stages of reaching a deal, which we
expect by March 27, to refinance debt for three years," FCC's
financial director Victor Pastor said.
Realia's property portfolio is worth 3.5 billion euros, with
41 percent belonging to its French unit Siic de Paris.
FCC's new chief executive Juan Bejar said the sale of Realia
would be undertaken in coordination with Bankia, which is also
under pressure to sell assets and cut debt in return for the
European aid it received last year.
Bejar, an infrastructure expert who used to run Ferrovial's
tollway operator Cintra, was brought in to boost
earnings after years of falling profits at FCC, which is 54
percent owned by one of Spain's richest women, construction
heiress Esther Koplowitz.
Koplowitz's daughter Esther Alcocer was appointed as
chairwoman in a management reshuffle at the start of the year,
replacing Baldomero Falcones.
FCC expects its new strategy, which includes cost cutting
moves such as the shedding of 1,000 jobs in the construction
industry in Spain, to boost annual earnings before interest,
tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) by nearly two thirds
to 1.2 billion euros over the three-year period.
FCC had also said earlier this month it would write down 1.1
billion euros of losses linked to construction activities in
central and eastern Europe and investments in real estate and
The company's debt currently stands at 7.9 billion euros,
including its energy business, or more than seven times its
Shares in FCC, which closed 0.4 percent higher at 8.554
euros on Wednesday, have fallen 90 percent since the height of
the construction boom in 2007, valuing the company at less than
1.1 billion euros.
(Additional reporting by Sonya Dowsett; Writing by Tracy
Ruciski; Editing by Julien Toyer and Greg Mahlich)