Spain’s Ferrovial SA agreed to buy three U.K. airports from the owner of Britain’s main Heathrow hub for at least 1.05 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) in a joint venture with a Macquarie Group Ltd. fund.

Ferrovial and Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 4 signed a deal with Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd. for the purchase of Glasgow and Aberdeen airports in Scotland and the Southampton terminal on England’s south coast, they said today.

The deal price, which includes debt, will be increased to compensate for the delay until the close of the transaction, which is likely to come before the end of January assuming European Union antitrust clearance, Heathrow said separately.

Ferrovial, a builder that also manages infrastructure such as toll roads, remains an investor in Heathrow Airport Holdings, having led the 10.1 billion-pound purchase of the company then known as BAA Ltd. in 2006. After that deal, U.K. regulators forced a breakup to foster competition, with London’s Gatwick and Stansted airports sold off, together with Edinburgh in Scotland, leaving just Heathrow and the three smaller sites.

“This sale enables us to focus on improving Heathrow for passengers and winning support for Heathrow expansion,” said John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s chief executive officer.

Ferrovial now owns 25 percent of Heathrow after selling down its stake. New entrants include sovereign wealth funds from Qatar, Singapore and China, which together control almost 42 percent, U.S.-based Alinda Capital Partners with 11 percent, the London-based Universities Superannuation Scheme Ltd. with about 9 percent, and original investor Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, a Canadian pension fund, on 13 percent.

The three airports in today’s deal handled a combined 12.5 million passengers last year, compared with 72.4 million at Heathrow, Europe’s busiest hub and the No. 3 worldwide.

To contact the reporter on this story: Charles Penty in Madrid at To contact the editors responsible for this story: Vidya Root at; Benedikt Kammel at

Photo Credit: Exterior of Glasgow Airport. Max Froumentin / Flickr