UPDATE 2-Ferrovial books substantial gain from Swissport sale

* Deal set to close by early 2011

* Shares up 0.9 percent, outperform market

(Adds detail, spokesman, analyst, updates shares)

By Judy MacInnes and Robert Hetz

MADRID, Nov 2 (BestGrowthStock) – Debt-laden Spanish infrastructure
group Ferrovial (FER.MC: ) expects to book a substantial capital
gain from the sale of its Swissport International AG subsidiary
for 654 million euros ($914 million) to a private equity firm.

Ferrovial said on Tuesday it was selling Swissport, the
world’s largest passenger and handling company, to Pai Partners.

Its shares were up 0.9 percent at 8.31 euros at 1000 GMT,
ouptacing a 0.2 percent drop on the blue-chip IBEX index (.IBEX: ).

“The exact amount of capital gains depends amongst other
things on the exchange rate, but it will be a substantial
amount,” a Ferrovial spokesman said, adding that when Swissport
was bought in 2005 it had an equity value of 336 million euros.

The enterprise value of the operation is about 880 million
euros, Ferrovial said.

“The disposal of Swissport is good news for the stock, both
from a strategic and financial point of view,” BPI analysts said
in a research note. “The price obtained is very positive … the
deal shows management continues to rotate assets which are
mature to invest in new assets with higher upside potential in
terms of valuation.”

Swissport’s sale is part of a wide-ranging asset disposal
programme by Ferrovial aimed at lightening its debt pile.

“Swissport’s good results and track record have attracted
investors’ interest, offering an opportunity to execute this
transaction as part of our asset rotation strategy,” chief
executive Inigio Meiras said.

Last week, Ferrovial said it planned to sell a 10 percent
stake in BAA, Britain’s largest airport operator, to let it cut
net debt by more than half. [ID:nLDE69LOBU]

The Swissport transaction was expected to close by early
next year, pending approval by competition authorities and Pai
Partners finalising its funding structure for the acquisition.

Revenues from the operation will be earmarked for future
growth plans, the spokesman said.
(Editing by Dan Lalor)
($1 = 0.7158 euro)

UPDATE 2-Ferrovial books substantial gain from Swissport sale