Ferrovial acquires Belfast City Airport

Press releases

The operation is a further opportunity for growth in a strategic area

The company has acquired 100% of Belfast City Airport (BCA) from Bombardier for 49.3 million euros (35 million pounds sterling)

Strategically located 2 miles from Belfast city, BCA handles 1.9 million passengers per year

Ferrovial is strengthening its position in the airport management business in the United Kingdom, where it also owns and manages Bristol Airport

Ferrovial currently manages 13 airports worldwide: Sydney, United Kingdom (2), Mexico (9) and Chile, handling more than 41 million passengers per year

Ferrovial is one of the worlds leading private sector developers of transport infrastructure, with 1.7 billion euros in committed investment in 16 toll roads, 13 airports and 175,000 parking spaces

Madrid, 23 May 2003. Ferrovial has strengthened its presence in the airport management business in the United Kingdom by acquiring Belfast City Airport (BCA) in Northern Ireland.

The deal involves the acquisition for 49.3 million euros (35 million pounds sterling) of 100% of BCA, the company which has a 125-year concession to operate the airport (from 1989 to 2114). BCA is currently owned by Bombardier, a Canadian rolling stock and aerospace manufacturer.

The acquisition will be financed with equity (22.8 million euros-16.2 million pounds) and the remainder through a loan from Royal Bank of Canada.

This operation is a further opportunity for growth in a strategic business area, states Juan Bejar, General Manager of Ferrovial´s infrastructure division. We are strengthening our position in the infrastructure concession business in the UK and our position in airport management worldwide, to total 13 airports in Australia, the UK, Mexico and Chile, with a throughput of more than 41 million passengers per year.

In the United Kingdom, one of the world´s largest and most developed internal air transport markets because of its natural dependence on air transport, Ferrovial owns and manages Bristol Airport, which handles 3.5 million passengers per year, and it expects to reap synergies with Belfast City Airport.

Ferrovial also has a concession for a toll road in the Republic of Ireland (the N4/N6) and is in the process of taking control of Amey, one of the UK´s leading services companies.

A strategic location with fast-growing air traffic
Located two miles from Belfast city centre, the airport is focused on business travel (enhanced by its proximity to the city) and domestic travellers. British Airways (BA), British Midland (BMI) and British European (BE) operate regular flights in and out of Belfast City Airport.

Belfast City Airport experienced 8.2% average annual growth in passenger traffic between 1991 and 2001, reaching 1.9 million passengers in 2002. BCA is also the only airport in Northern Ireland which provides Belfast with links to the rest of Europe and the world via London Heathrow.

The total Northern Ireland air traffic market is currently 5.4 million passengers per year and it is estimated to grow by 2.7% on average per year between 2002 and 2030, to reach 12 million passengers.

Services under management and scope for expansion
Belfast City Airport provides air traffic control, handling, security, customer care and firefighting and emergency services. It also operates a number of concessions (gift shops, restaurants and coffee shops) as well as two parking lots (over 2,100 parking spaces), a conference hall, advertising space, ATMs, rent-a-car counters, etc.

Between 1998 and 2002, Belfast City Airport made major investments (39.4 million euros - 28 million pounds) to enhance its value, including a new 11,000 m2 terminal building with capacity to handle three million passengers. The airport has a 1,829 metre runway. In 2002, BCA obtained 18.2 million euros (12.9 million pounds) in revenues.

According to Luis Sánchez Salmerón, Head of Ferrovials airports division, as well as the superb location, facilities in good condition and a profitable operation, BCA has scope to increase revenues from aeronautics and non-aeronautic sources by developing the airport´s commercial activities.

Ferrovial and airport management 
Since its recent entry into this market, Ferrovial has established itself as one of the worlds leading private sector airport managers in terms of both investment volume and the soundness and diversification of its airport portfolio.

Ferrovial now operates 13 airports which handle more than 41 million passengers per year: Sydney (Australia´s largest airport, processing 24 million passengers per year), Bristol (the largest airport in Southwest England, jointly owned with Macquarie), Belfast, 9 airports in Southeast Mexico (Cancun and eight others) and Antofagasta in Chile.

Its diversified airport portfolio includes one of the world´s largest hubs (Sydney), regional airports in the European Union (Bristol and Belfast) and Latin America (Mexico and Chile) and resort airports (Mexico).

Ferrovial is open to additional investments in line with its strategy of expanding while minimising the risk factors in this business.

Ferrovial has committed 1.7 billion euros of investment in developing transport infrastructure, including more than 300 million euros in airport management. In addition to its 13 airports, Ferrovial manages or is developing 16 toll roads in Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Chile and Canada, as well as 175,000 parking spaces.

Notes to editors
Ferrovial was founded in 1952 as a construction company. Fifty years later, it is a diversified industrial group which is listed on the stock exchange, employs over 28,000 people and is active in areas that complement its core construction business, such as infrastructure, real estate development and services.

The largest construction group in Spain and the second-largest in Europe in terms of market capitalization
Steady, sound growth in revenues and profitability have made Ferrovial one of the leading construction groups: it is the largest in Spain and the second-largest in Europe in terms of market capitalization.

In 2002, net profit totalled 455.9 million euros, 108.8% more than in 2001 and consolidated revenues reached 5,040.2 million euros, 19% more than in 2001. Operating profit increased by 30% to 485.1 million euros: non-construction activities represent 68%. The more stable business areas -infrastructure and services-account for 47% of total operating profit.

A leader worldwide in private financing initiatives for transport infrastructure
Ferrovial is now one of the world´s largest groups in the private-sector development of transport infrastructure, with a committed investment of 1.7 billion euros in 16 toll roads in Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Chile and Canada; 13 airports in Australia, the UK, Mexico and Chile (with more than 41 million of passengers); and 175,000 parking spaces in Spain.

In the United Kingdom, it is joint owner (with the Macquarie Group) of Bristol airport. In this country, Ferrovial is in the process of taking control of Amey, one of the UK´s leading services companies.

With this acquisition, Ferrovial will obtain a strong position in the United Kingdom, a key european market with the most experience of outsourcing services. Ferrovial manages the first toll road in Ireland the N4/N6 Kinnegad-Kilcock Motorway.

Selective growth in OECD countries
Outside its home market, Ferrovial has made major progress by focusing on selective growth in OECD countries, hand in hand with its expanding infrastructure business as a means of entering new markets, plus the acquisition of sound leading companies in markets with growth potential.

Ferrovial is currently present in Canada, Poland, Australia, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Ireland and Latin America. In 2002, international activities provided 28% of group revenues and 42% of operating profit.

In 2002, Ferrovial was included in the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) indexes and it was the first Spanish construction group to form part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, the world´s leading benchmark for companies committed to sustainability.


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