AMSTERDAM/MADRID - A JP Morgan infrastructure fund is in talks to buy only parts of Dragados SPL rather than the whole ports division of Spanish builder ACS, two people familiar with the matter said on Monday. The economic downturn has highlighted the disparity in value of some of the port unit's assets, with JP Morgan now only trying to acquire some of them, the sources said, adding the talks were still continuing.
JP Morgan is looking to buy some of Dragados's most attractive assets, such as its terminal in Valencia, said one of the sources, who did not wish to be named because the transaction is private.
ACS declined to comment and JP Morgan was not immediately available for comment.
Ports have suffered badly among infrastructure assets in the financial crisis as their falling revenues, driven by a decline in world trade, have affected their valuation.
As a result, the sale of Dragados ports has dragged on since ACS first received indications of interest for the unit last January.
At the time, media reports had suggested ACS could fetch up to 1.4 billion euros ($2.08 billion) for Dragados SPL, but the sources said this was now unlikely.
In October ACS said it was still in talks with several interested parties and that it hoped the sale would take place in the next few months.
Royal Bank of Canada is advising JP Morgan while Deutsche Bank and Mediobanca are advising ACS, sources said. ($1=.6720 Euro) (Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)