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Skanska nets windfall from Chile highway sale

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Skanska nets windfall from Chile highway sale
10:55 CET+01:00
Swedish construction and engineering group Skanska said Wednesday it would make a €556 million ($730 million) gain from the sale of a 50 percent share in a company that owns a Chilean highway concession.

Skanska said the buyer, Canada's Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), was acquiring the Skanska-owned Swedish holding companies that own the 50 percent stake in Autopista Central in Santiago, which is run as a public private partnership (PPP).

"The gain on sale after tax amounts to approximately 5.0 billion kronor ($730 million) and corresponds to a gain of 12 Swedish kronor per share in Skanska," the company said in a statement.

Chief executive Johan Karlström called the investment in Autopista Central "Skanska's most successful ever."

"This deal gives a very good result for Skanska and our shareholders," he said.

The announcement sent Skanska's shares up 4.0 percent in early trading on the Stockholm Stock Exchange. Shortly after 10am, the company's shares were up 3.44 percent to 135.5 kronor in a flat market.

Analyst Bengt Claesson at SEB called the announcement "good news," saying the expected deal had come earlier than planned.

"It is positive that they announce it already now as the announcement was not expected until next year," he told Dow Jones Newswires.

Skanska said the deal was conditional to approval from the bond guarantor and amendments to the financing agreements.

It said the gain would be recognised at the earliest in the second quarter in 2011.

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