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8 February, 2006 - 16:14 By Staff Reporter

BAA tells Spanish to go to ‘el’

The owner/operator of Stansted, BAA has given a potential suitor the cold shoulder.Stansted Airport owner BAA has issued a no-nonsense hands off warning to a Spanish construction giant that has been talking about launching a possible takeover bid.

Madrid based Ferrovial said it was pondering a bid for 100 per cent of BAA’s issued capital – sending the London company’s share price soaring 22 per cent to a record high of 801p and valuing BAA at £8.5 billion.

BAA issued a statement saying it had not received any proposal from Ferrovial and strongly advised shareholders not to take any action.

“The board of BAA is confident about the future of its business. It has a unique portfolio of world-class airport assets, including the three regulated London airports and others in the UK, Italy, Hungary and Australia,” he said.

“The further development of these airports, which is supported by their relevant governments, will create substantial opportunities for the group.

“The board believes that BAA is well placed to continue to generate significant shareholder value from this growing portfolio of assets.”

If it is serious in its bid, Ferrovial faces regulatory obstacles as well as opposition from BAA itself.

Also, the UK government is not thought to be keen about a British asset falling into foreign hands – especially when BAA is steering through a second runway at Stansted to spearhead the nation’s long-term airport growth strategy.

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