Ferrovial, the Madrid-based infrastructure company which notably owns Heathrow Airport, has paid £385 million (€443 million; $584 million) to acquire infrastructure services firm Enterprise from 3i, the London-listed private equity firm.
3i acquired Enterprise in a £500 million public-to-private buyout in 2007 but was forced to write down the value of its investment last year as Enterprise struggled to service its debt.
Enterprise will be combined with Amey, a UK public services and infrastructure firm acquired by Ferrovial for £81 million in 2003. The combined business will come under the Spanish firm’s Ferrovial Services arm and will expand into areas such as utilities services and environmental services.
“This acquisition fits with our strategic objective of profitable growth through selective acquisitions and it enables us to expand our Services business,” said Íñigo Meirás, chief executive of Ferrovial, in a statement issued by the company.
Ferrovial estimates that bringing Amey and Enterprise together – a merger which requires approval from the European Commission – will generate cost and revenue savings of around £40 million.
The Spanish firm has been operating in the UK since 2000 through its construction, airport and services businesses. Amey works with public and regulated clients in a range of sectors including justice, aviation, central government, education and transport.
Ferrovial Services has an order book of over £11 billion, operations in 130 European cities and is a major player in Spain and the UK in infrastructure maintenance, environmental services, facilities management and energy efficiency.