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Ferrovial says No Rush to Refinance BAA Buy: Report

Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial is in no rush to refinance the 10 billion pounds ($20.05 billion) of debt taken on to buy British airports operator BAA, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

Fears have risen over the long-awaited refinancing of the debt through a planned securitization after the credit crisis effectively closed the European asset-backed bond market, with many predicting it will not reopen until the second half of 2008.

But Chief Executive Joaquin Ayuso said in an interview that talk of a debt crisis at the vehicle created to buy BAA was overblown, the newspaper said.

"When Ferrovial and its partners bought BAA, we took the precaution of securing (acquisition) debt over five years, because you can never predict what might happen," Ayuso is quoted as saying.

"There is absolutely no risk when it comes to servicing this debt. The assets behind BAA could not be more secure."

"Obviously, the sooner we get the refinancing in place, the better ... However, we are talking about a securitized issue, which by definition carries a long maturity. We are not about to penalize ourselves for the next 20 to 30 years by rushing to the market before the conditions are right," Ayuso said.

The Financial Times said Ferrovial would hold up the refinancing at least until March in any case, when U.K. regulators are due to finalize their pricing regime for Heathrow and Gatwick over the next five years.