Spanish infrastructure firm Ferrovial is selling its entire 25% shareholding in London Heathrow airport’s operator, under a £2.37 billion ($3 billion) divestment.

The company has disclosed that it will sell its stake FGP Topco – the parent of Heathrow Airport Holdings – to French private equity firm Ardian and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

Ardian will take 15% of the Heathrow holding company, through infrastructure funds it manages, while the Public Investment Fund will have 10%.

Ferrovial’s exit comes 17 years after it became the majority owner of Heathrow when it acquired UK airports operator BAA in 2006.

Over the period, the company has been “contributing to Heathrow’s transformation” including investing to develop the new Terminal 2, says the chief of Ferrovial’s airports division, Luke Bugeja.

“We are very pleased to have made Heathrow one of the world’s most connected airports and the busiest airport in Europe,” he adds.

Heathrow-c-Heathrow Airport

Source: Heathrow Airport

Ferrovial originally acquired Heathrow by taking over former UK airports operator BAA

The company retains a 50% share in the former BAA-owned airports of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton. It also holds interests in Turkey’s Dalaman airport and a terminal at New York JFK.

Ardian says the UK is a “core market” and that its investment in Heathrow will build on its aviation expertise.

It has previously invested in London Luton and six Italian airports.

“Heathrow is a strategic asset for the UK economy and plays a key role enhancing global connectivity,” it states.

“It fits with Ardian’s strategy of investing in significant infrastructure in its core markets.”

Saudi Arabia’s governmental Public Investment Fund confirms it has entered a share purchase agreement for a 10% share in Heathrow.

“[Our] investment in Heathrow is in line with [the Public Investment Fund’s] strategy to support the business as a long-term partner,” it says, adding that Heathrow is a “key gateway to the world”.