Ferrovial refinances BAA debt

The Spanish construction group Ferrovial has managed to refinance the US$15bn of loans used to pay for UK airports. Ferrovial has agreed to a fresh £7.65bn (US$15bn) package of loans that in part refinances the debt used to buy BAA in 2006.

Ferrovial said that nine banks had agreed to provide the facility for up to six years. These are thought to include five of those who supported the original deal, namely Citi, RBS, HSBC, Calyon and Santander. Spanish lenders BBVA and Caja Madrid are also thought to have joined the consortium.

There has been speculation that Ferrovial might have to sell one of its three London airports, either through regulatory pressure or because of financial demands. This deal makes this less likely in the immediate future.

Abenex Capital launches in France

Hervé Claquin, the former head of ABN AMRO Capital France, has spearheaded the launch of a new mid-market investment vehicle in France, Abenex Capital. Claquin, along with partners Patrice Venrrier and Olivier Moatti, spun the French unit out of Dutch bank ABN AMRO earlier this year, with Abenex Capital focusing on the €30m to €500m mid-market segment in France.

The new firm will continue to manage ABN AMRO Capital France’s €500m portfolio, which includes retail businesses Doucet and Findis, construction group Onduline and telecoms company Nextiraone. ABN AMRO Capital’s Northern European operations were spun out last year and rebranded as AAC Capital Partners.

Gruppo Banca Leonardo buys BS stake

Italian investment bank Gruppo Banca Leonardo has purchased a 20% stake in private equity firm BS Private Equity for an undisclosed sum. The bank said it would invest €200m in the firm’s fifth generation private equity fund, which has a target of €600m, and will consider buying the remainder of the management company in the future. BS Private Equity’s partners will also commit €20m to the fund, which has been opened up to Italian institutional investors for the first time.

Milan-based BS Private Equity has invested in 67 companies to-date, including Tecnowind, Arena, Carapelli Firenzi and Ducati Motor. In May, the firm sold controlling stakes in three companies for proceeds of €190m on an equity investment of €80m in 2004, representing a 2.4x average multiple.