China Investment Corp. takes 10% stake in Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Airport

China Investment Corp. International Co. acquired a 10% stake in Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd., according to an announcement Thursday on the website of China Investment Corp., Beijing.

The news release didn't provide any further details, and officials at the sovereign wealth fund, set up in 2007 to manage China's foreign currency reserves, weren't immediately available for further comment.

However, Jean-Benoit Houde, spokesman for Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, confirmed Caisse sold a 2.26% interest in Heathrow Airport Holdings to Stable Investment Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of CIC.

This is the second Heathrow stake sold by the C$159 billion (US$159.1 billion) Montreal-based fund; in August, it sold a 5.63% interest to Qatar Holding. After the completion of both sales, Caisse's interest in Heathrow will be 13.29%.

“The transaction is part of our commitment to rebalance and better diversify our infrastructure portfolio,” said Normand Provost, executive vice president, private equity at Caisse in a news release.

The sovereign wealth fund also paid $414.6 million to Spanish infrastructure investor Ferrovial, for a 5.72% share in Heathrow. Ferrovial earlier this year also had agreed to sell part of its stake in Heathrow to Qatar Holding. Ferrovial's indirect stake in Heathrow Airport will be 33.65% after both transactions close.

CIC had $482.2 billion in assets as of the Dec. 31, 2011, the end of its latest fiscal year.