Following its ?8.8bn ($15.4bn) offer for BAA, Spanish construction-to-airports giant Ferrovial has strengthened its hand by appointing Australian bank Macquarie as its joint financial adviser.
Several analysts immediately reacted positively to the move which they see as a prelude to a possible increase in the Ferrovial consortium?s offer. BAA and its main institutional shareholders have already rejected the current offer as insufficient.
The appointment of Macquarie by Ferrovial is being seen as a canny move by the Spanish consortium to neutralise a potential counterbid from Macquarie. In return for its support of a successful bid for BAA Macquarie has apparently been promised an option to buy Ferrovial's existing stakes in Sydney Airport (21%) and Bristol airport (50%).
Ferrovial?s Sydney stake is said to be worth around ?375m ($652.6m) and the Bristol shareholding around ?106m ($184.4m). Ferrovial now has until April 24 to make an offer for BAA, or withdraw.