December 4, 2012 / 7:21 AM / in 5 years

UPDATE 1-Abertis to launch obligatory full bid for OHL Brazil

* Completes acquisition of 60 pct of OHL Brasil

* To launch bid for remaining 40 pct in coming weeks

By Carlos Ruano

MADRID, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Spanish infrastructure firm Abertis and Canadian fund Brookfield said they will launch a bid for the remaining 40 percent of OHL Brasil in coming weeks to comply with takeover rules.

Abertis and Brookfield finalised the purchase of 60 percent of OHL Brasil from its Spanish owner OHL on Tuesday in a deal worth 2.5 billion euros ($3.3 billion). Brazilian regulation now obliges them to launch a full bid.

Abertis - which manages tollways, airports and telecommunication assets - has been diversifying away from its recession-hit home market of Spain.

Investors in OHL Brasil who do accept the bid will receive a combination of cash and Abertis shares at no premium and will have to keep the shares for a minimum of one year.

Abertis, which wants to keep OHL Brasil listed on the stock market, agreed to buy a majority stake in the company from its parent in April as part of a deal using its own shares and taking on 504 million euros of debt.

Following Tuesday’s deal, Spanish builder OHL will own 15 percent of Abertis and have a board seat. The deal also includes the purchase of OHL’s motorway concessions in Chile for 204 million euros, which Abertis said it hopes to complete this year.

Despite an initial increase in Abertis’ debt due to these deals, the company expects to end 2013 with net debt close to the 14.5 billion euros it had in 2009, Chief Executive Francisco Reynes told journalists.

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