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Saudi Arabia's PIF to Acquire 10% Stake in Heathrow Airport's Holding Company

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Saboor Bayat
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Saudi Arabia's PIF to Acquire 10% Stake in Heathrow Airport's Holding Company

In a significant move that marks Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) deepening engagement with global infrastructural assets, the fund has penned a share purchase agreement to acquire a 10% stake in FGP TopCo (TopCo). TopCo is the holding company of Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd, the entity that operates London's Heathrow, the UK's busiest airport.

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Acquisition Deal Details

The agreement, reported by the state news agency (SPA) on Wednesday, sees PIF buying the stake from Ferrovial(FERF.AS), a Spanish infrastructure major. The transaction is valued at 1 billion pounds ($1.27 billion). However, the deal's finalization is subject to regulatory conditions, along with compliance with the right of first offer and full tag-along rights, which other FGP Topco shareholders might exercise.

Broadening Ownership

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The acquisition signifies a reshuffling of shareholders within one of Europe's busiest airports. Ferrovial's total 25 percent stake in FGP Topco will be sold for £2.37 billion ($3.01 billion), the company confirmed in a statement. Of this, 10 percent is being purchased by PIF, while the remaining 15 percent will go to Ardian, a Paris-based private equity firm. This move will see the PIF becoming a partial owner, joining other significant stakeholders like the Qatar Investment Authority, Australia's Retirement Trust, China Investment Corporation, Singapore's GIC, the Universities Superannuation Scheme, and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec.

Investing in Strategic Assets

The PIF's entry into the ownership of Heathrow, a global aviation hub, aligns with its strategic approach of fostering long-term partnerships and supporting businesses. The fund expressed its satisfaction in investing in Heathrow, given its stature as a crucial international gateway. The deal's success will provide PIF a foothold in one of the world's busiest airports, underscoring its strategy of investing in key global infrastructural assets.

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