Spanish builder Ferrovial is preparing to sell off the property arm of British airport operator BAA.

A Ferrovial spokesman said that BAA had given Morgan Stanley, its financial adviser, a mandate to sell its commercial property company and a 50% stake in Airport Property Partnership.

Ferrovial acquired the airport operator last year at a cost of £10bn. The group’s property assets are valued at £1.2bn and it is thought that Ferrovial will use these proceeds to reduce the debt it took on .