China Buys Up Spain’s Assets

China Buys Up Spain’s Assets on Wsj

A debt-laden Spanish construction firm became the latest European company to unload assets onto eager Chinese buyers, as Europe’s debt woes force firms to look to China for cash.

State Grid Corp., China’s government controlled power-grid operator, said Tuesday it would buy high-voltage electricity transmission assets in Brazil from Spain’s Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA ACS.MC -0.47% for 1.86 billion reais ($938.2 million), including debt. The deal is State Grid’s second investment in Brazil and its fourth major investment overseas, and is the most recent in a string of deals in which a European company has looked to exit an investment amid financial troubles facing the region.

ACS’s standing has weaken because of its debts and the falling value of investments made during Spain’s boom years. Chairman Florentino Pérez, who is also the president of Spain’s soccer club Real Madrid CF, led ACS’s expansion when liquidity was abundant and Spain’s economy was booming on the back of a real-estate bubble that imploded about five years ago.

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