UPDATE 2-Vinci in exclusive talks to sell bulk of parking unit

miércoles 12 de febrero de 2014 07:50 GYT

* Deal would give Vinci Park 1.96 bln eur enterprise value

* Vinci to keep 25 pct stake, current management

* Aim is to help Vinci Park grow in the Americas and Asia

* Deal comes as Vinci focuses on airports (Recasts, adds context on Vinci's strategy, enterprise value, analyst comment, shares)

By Laurence Frost and Natalie Huet

PARIS, Feb 12 (Reuters) - France's Vinci is close to selling the bulk of its parking-lot division to two French financial firms as Europe's biggest builder sharpens its focus on higher-growth businesses such as airport concessions.

Vinci said it was in exclusive talks to sell 75 percent of Vinci Park to French private-equity fund Ardian and Credit Agricole's insurance arm in a deal that would value the division at 1.96 billion euros ($2.7 billion).

That enterprise value is around 16 times Vinci Park's 2013 operating profit and in line with analysts' expectations.

Vinci Park operates 1.6 million parking spaces in 14 countries. Although profitable - with an 18.7 percent operating margin last year - it is heavily exposed to the mature, slow-growing French market and to environmental policies discouraging the use of cars.   Continuación...