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Saudi Arabia’s PIF to buy 10% stake in Heathrow Airport

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has entered into a share purchase agreement to acquire a 10 percent stake in London’s Heathrow Airport from Spanish infrastructure giant Ferrovial, as it continues to make strategic investments across various sectors.

In a press statement, PIF said that will acquire the stake in FGP TopCo, the holding firm of Heathrow Airport Holdings, while French-based private equity fund Ardian will acquire another 15 percent share in the parent company through separate vehicles.

Ferrovial, which has owned a stake since 2006, announced that the deal was worth $3 billion.

PIF said that the transaction is still subject to regulatory approvals.

Once the deal is approved, it will end Ferrovial’s investment in the UK airports’ operator which started at 56 percent but was reduced to 25 percent in 2013.

“PIF is pleased to be investing in Heathrow, a world-class airport, which acts as a key gateway to the world. PIF’s investment in Heathrow is in line with its strategy to support the business as a long-term partner,” said PIF in a press statement.

Some of the other major stakeholders in FGP TopCo are the Qatar Investment Authority, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, the Australian Retirement Trust, and China Investment Corp.

Heathrow is one of the world’s largest air traffic platforms, connecting the UK with global trading partners to help stimulate economic growth.

PIF has been steering the Kingdom’s economic diversification efforts by making several strategic investments across various sectors over the past few years.

In its annual statement released in October, PIF said that it has established 70 companies since its launch, and 25 of them including Saudi Coffee Co. and Halal Products Development Co. were founded in 2022.

The report further noted that companies owned by the PIF created over 181,000 jobs exclusively in 2022.

Last month, the PIF launched Tasaru, a company dedicated to developing local supply chain capabilities for the automotive and mobility industry in Saudi Arabia.

The fund has also made several other significant investments in the future mobility sector which includes the establishment of Saudi Arabia’s first national electric vehicle brand Ceer, in partnership with Foxconn, as well as investing in US-based Lucid Motors.