Hochtief sells airport unit to Canada's PSP Investments for $1.4 billion

CEO of Hochtief AG, Marcelino Fernandez Verdes arrives for the annual news conference in Duesseldorf February 28, 2013. REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German builder Hochtief HOTG.DE has sold its airports division to Canada's Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments) for 1.1 billion euros ($1.4 billion), seeking to cut debt and invest in its infrastructure business.

The unit has holdings in airports in Athens, Budapest, Duesseldorf, Hamburg, Sydney and Tirana, said Hochtief, which is controlled by Spain's ACS ACS.MC.

It added that it expects no significant extraordinary earnings impact from the transaction, which will take retroactive effect from January 1 this year.

Sources told Reuters in April that Hochtief received bids for its airport unit.

Hochtief halted the sale early last year when it was unable to fetch a price of 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion), but revived its efforts later.

Hochtief Chief Executive Marcelino Fernandez Verdes, who took the top job in November, is leading a drive to shed airports and real estate development businesses to cut the company’s debt while making it a leading global infrastructure provider.

Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Edwina Gibbs