CVC to buy 15pc Abertis stake from ACS for €1.7bn

ACS has agreed to sell a €1.7bn (£1.4bn) stake in toll road operator Abertis to private equity fund CVC Capital Partners, freeing up the Spanish builder to cut debt and pursue energy investments.

ACS, Spain’s largest builder by market value, and British private equity firm CVC said yesterday they will form joint ventures to manage ACS’s 25.8 per cent stake of Abertis .

ACS will get €15 per share for its Abertis stake, or €2.86bn, about a fifth of which it will reinvest to retain an indirect holding of 10.28 per cent of the motorway firm, while CVC will get a 15.5 per cent stake.

The deal, funded by a €1.5bn loan from a syndicate of banks, brings stability to Abertis after months of speculation that ACS and CVC were seeking financing for a leveraged buyout of a large piece of the company.

La Caixa – Abertis’s largest shareholder – and Spanish banking giant Santander are in the syndicate financing the deal, which was advised by Italy's Mediobanca.

ACS will take on €600m of the debt for the deal, with CVC taking the rest.