MADRID -(Dow Jones)- Spanish construction company Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA (ACS.MC) said Wednesday it is in advanced talks to sell its stake in Spanish toll-road concessionaire Abertis Infraestructuras SA (ABE.MC) to the toll-road company and others as it seeks to shore up its balance sheet.
ACS owns a 10.3% in Abertis according to FactSet and is facing a liquidity crunch that has led it to sell off stakes in several companies to strengthen its balance sheet.
Abertis said in a separate statement that it is authorized to buy up to 5.3% of its own shares, and that it would consider purchasing this stake from ACS if the company decides to sell it.
Abertis said late Tuesday it has signed a letter of intent with its smaller peer Obrascon Huarte Lain SA (OHL.MC) in which they agreed that Abertis will integrate OHL's Brazilian unit, Obrascon Huarte Lain Brasil, while OHL will become one of Abertis's core shareholders, with a 10% stake.
Following the operation, which includes a separate deal to buy OHL's toll-road concessions in Chile, Abertis will become the world leader in the toll-road concession sector, operating over 7,500 kilometers. The assets Abertis will incorporate are nine toll-road concessions in Brazil, totaling 3,227 kilometers, and three concessions in Chile, totaling 342 kilometers.
ACS and Abertis shares are leading the Madrid stock market higher. ACS shares are up 7.1% at EUR14.52, while Abertis is up 6.1% at EUR11.82.
-By Alex MacDonald, Dow Jones Newswires; +44 (0)7776 200 924; email@example.com
(Enza Tedesco in Buenos Aires and Art Patnaude in Madrid contributed to this article.)
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 25, 2012 03:55 ET (07:55 GMT)
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