BAA turns down "attractive" Ferrovial offer

24-08-2006

Airport operator BAA has rejected an improved takeover offer from Ferrovial of 900 pence per share, the Spanish construction firm has revealed.

Ferrovial is heading up the consortium that is aiming to acquire BAA and expressed its disappointment that the offer, which the Spanish company described as "extremely attractive" and values the operator at £9.732 billion, was rejected without "further discussion".

Having previously offered £8.75 billion for BAA, the consortium has pledged to push ahead with its takeover bid despite this latest setback.

BAA and Ferrovial are currently locked in a battle to win shareholders over, with the airport group pledging to invest £9.5 billion in airport infrastructure over the decade and return £750 million to investors if they reject the consortium's advances.

The company operates seven airports in the UK and handles two-thirds of passenger traffic, but any prospective takeover by Ferrovial has already been approved in theory by the European Commission after it decided that the "proposed transaction would not significantly impede effective competition".

However, consumer watchdog the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) revealed last week that it was considering a review of the UK airports market after becoming concerned over sector competitiveness.

If the regulatory body decides to implement a review, BAA and other airport operators would be referred to the Competition Commission.



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