An arm of China's sovereign wealth fund has taken a 10 percent stake in the holding company controlling Britain's largest airport London Heathrow, Spanish infrastructure company Ferrovial said on Wednesday.Ferrovial sold 5.72 percent of Heathrow holding company FGP Topco to China's Stable Investment Corporation for EUR€319.3 million (USD$414 million), it said in a statement.Other shareholders of FGP Topco sold 4.28 percent to Stable, making the Chinese fund an indirect holder of 10 percent of Heathrow, formerly known as BAA, the Spanish company said.Following the deal Ferrovial holds a 44.3 percent indirect stake in Heathrow.But that will drop to 33.65 percent once European competition officials approve Qatar Holding's purchase of 10.62 percent of FGP Topco, Ferrovial's statement said.The Spanish infrastructure company may use the proceeds from its part of the sale for investments or dividends, its chief executive said."It gives us extra liquidity which we will study if we invest in infrastructure, services... without ruling out other alternatives such as a possible increase in shareholder dividends," CEO Inigo Meiras said in a phone interview.The Spanish company planned to remain a major investor in Heathrow, he said."We don't have in mind any other divestment. Our objective is to remain as a major shareholder and industrial partner (in Heathrow)," Meiras said.As Spain's economy slumps and the government cuts infrastructure spending, Ferrovial's income is increasingly dependent on operations in Britain.The executive said that Ferrovial plans to complete its sale of London's Stansted airport in the first half of next year, saying there is interest from several parties.On Monday New Zealand investment manager Morrison entered the race for Stansted. Other bidders include Manchester Airports Group in partnership with Australia's Industry Funds Management (IFM), Macquarie's infrastructure fund and private-equity firm TPG, according to people familiar with the situation.Source: Reuters
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