Qatar SWF buys stake in UK airport operator
22 Aug 2012
Sovereign wealth fund subsidiary Qatar Holding has acquired 20% of Spanish-owned UK airport operator BAA for €1.14bn ($1.4bn) from shareholders, including Canadian pension fund manager Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Government of Singapore Investment Corp.
The CAD$159bn ($160bn) Caisse agreed to sell part of its stake in the UK airport infrastructure firm's holding company FGP TopCo for CAD$393.6m, reducing its interest from 21.1% to 15.5%.
In a statement, the Caisse said the cash generated by the deal would enable it to rebalance and better diversify its infrastructure portfolio while maintaining exposure to BAA assets including Heathrow Airport.
In separate deals, GIC - the government-owned asset manager of Singapore's sovereign wealth fund - sold a 3.75% interest to its Qatari counterpart, while Spanish infrastructure firm Ferrovial agreed to sell a 10.6% stake for €607m.
Data from Real Capital Analytics point to Qatar as the second largest buyer (after Blackstone) of European property over the past year. It spent €3.5bn on prime assets, including the Olympic athletes' village in east London.
Author: Shayla Walmsley