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London firms advise on China’s new Heathrow stake

2nd November 2012

Three London firms have taken on roles helping an arm of the Chinese state to acquire a 10 per cent stake in Heathrow Airport.

The China Investment Corporation (CIC) called on the expertise of solicitors with some of the top legal jobs in the City to finalise the completion of a deal which included them buying a 5.7 per cent stake from Ferrovial, an infrastructure organisation based in Spain, for £257.4 million. The deal also saw the CIC obtaining a further 4.3 per cent share through other shareholders.

The significance of this deal cannot be underestimated, as the airport’s business, Heathrow Ltd, also controls Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports, although they are currently in the process of selling off Stansted.

This transaction means that Ferrovial continues to reduce its stake in Heathrow, following another sale to Qatar Holding a few months ago. CIC, meanwhile, are increasing their presence in the UK, as they also recently bought a share in Kemble Water, the parent company of Thames Water.