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BAA accepts Ferrovial's $19-bn takeover offer

British airport operator BAA said on Tuesday it has accepted a $19-bn takeover bid from a consortium led by Ferrovial of Spain.

Agencies|
Jun 07, 2006, 01.51 AM IST
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LONDON: British airport operator BAA said on Tuesday it has accepted a $19-bn takeover bid from a consortium led by Ferrovial of Spain.

“The board of BAA confirms that it has agreed, subject to final documentation, a revised definitive proposal from the Ferrovial Consortium valuing BAA at 950.25 pence ($17.79) per share,” the company said in a statement to the LSE.

The announcement came a day after BAA, which operates London’s major airports, confirmed that it was in talks with Ferrovial and with another consortium.

The Takeover Panel, an independent body that administers London’s code on mergers and takeovers, had on Tuesday extended the deadline until June 16 for Ferrovial to announce a firm intention to make an offer for BAA or to walk away.

BAA, which operates seven airports around Britain including London’s Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted, rejected a 900 pence ($16.81) offer from Ferrovial last week as too low. BAA previously said that it believed its value was in excess of 940 pence ($17.49) per share.

Britain’s Competition Commission last week issued a “put up or shut up” order to the Goldman Sachs group, giving it a deadline of June 9 to come forward with an offer.

The Ferrovial consortium also includes Canadian investment fund Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec and Singapore government fund GIC.

The fight for BAA was further complicated last week when the government’s Office of Fair Trading revealed that it is considering a full inquiry into the domestic airport market.

Such a probe would look at whether the current market structure, and BAA’s dominance, delivers the best value for air travellers.
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