February 17, 2014 / 9:16 AM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Spain's Ferrovial makes bid for 3 UK airports - source

MADRID, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial has made an offer to Heathrow Airport Holdings (HAH) for British airports Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Monday.

Newspaper Expansion said the offer, for which Ferrovial has held talks over a joint bid with at least two Australian funds - Macquarie and Industry Funds Management - was worth 800 million pounds ($1.3 billion), citing industry sources.

Ferrovial declined to comment. HAH said they could not comment and referred calls to spokespeople for Ferrovial.

The Spanish company, which holds a 25 percent stake in HAH, previously BAA, has been on the hunt to strengthen its airport business as it seeks to diversify further from its crisis-hit domestic construction business.

But its partners in the HAH consortium - Britannia Airport Partners, Singapore’s GIC, Qatar Holding and Alinda Capital Partners - are looking to focus on Heathrow, Britain’s busiest airport, and divest the holding’s other airports.

Ferrovial bought Heathrow and a number of other UK airports as part of its acquisition of BAA in 2006 for 10.3 billion pounds in a highly leveraged deal, but has gradually sold stakes to new partners at a profit to reduce debt.

Analysts said a $1.3 billion price for the deal implied a multiple of 13 times the three airports’ estimated 2013 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

“This in our view would represent a full price, arguably with limited upside in terms of synergies or efficiency as Ferrovial has already been managing these assets via HAH,” said Juan Carlos Calvo, analyst at Espirito Santo investment bank.

By 0850 GMT, Ferrovial’s shares were up 0.3 percent at 14.70 euros versus an 0.2 percent decline on Spain’s blue chip index .

Last year it failed with a bid for Brazil’s five largest airports and had been eyeing the on-and-off privatisation of Chicago’s Midway airport.

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