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Ferrovial continues mass sell off to reduce debts

The latest attempt by Spain-based infrastructure firm Ferrovial to cut its huge debt pile has seen it sell its 50% stake in Autopista Trados 45.

The €67 million sale to FINAVIAS, an investment vehicle for the infrastructure funds of AXA Private Equity, is part of what second-generation chairman Rafael del Pino calls an asset rotation policy.

In reality, the family-controlled company has been forced to sell off prized assets to reduce its consolidated net debt – which increased by 5.2% to €22.3 billion on falling revenues of €12.1 billion for the last financial year – and refocus a business that is heavily exposed to the poorly performing construction and infrastructure sectors.

Since 2009 Ferrovial has raised a total of €3 billion from divestments and in the last few months it has sold off assets including Cintra Aparcamientos, Gatwick airport, real estate company APP, Tube Lines and 60% of Cintra Chile. It still manages landmark assets such as Heathrow airport and the Chicago Skyway.

At the company's AGM in June, del Pino outlined his goal to "emerge stronger, as a diversified, internationalized group of the right size" through divestments, improving operating efficiency and generating cash flow.

Last year the company merged with its subsidiary company Cintra, which decreased the del Pino family's holding by 14% to 44%.

Ferrovial was founded in 1952 by Rafael del Pino (pictured), who was chairman until his death in 2008 when son Rafael Jr took the helm.

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