Ferrovial says won't run Australia offshore detention centers in future

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 30, 2016 12:55 AM

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Spain's Ferrovial said it won't offer in future the service of running Australia's controversial offshore detention centers for refugees and asylum seekers, after buying a controlling stake in the Australian firm that operates the centers.

Australia's detention of refugees and asylum seekers in offshore detention centers in Papua New Guinea and Nauru has previously drawn criticism from the United Nations.

In a statement on Friday, Ferrovial said the company had completed a buyout of 59 percent of shares in Australia-listed Broadspectrum.

On Wednesday, Papua New Guinea's high court ruled that the Broadspectrum-run detention center in Manus Island housing more than 800 Australia-bound refugees was unlawful and the country's government said it would shut the camp.

"In relation to the provision of services at the regional processing centers in Nauru and Manus province, these services were not a core part of the valuation and the acquisition rationale of the offer, and it is not a strategic activity in Ferrovial’s portfolio," the company said in a statement. "Ferrovial’s view is that this activity will not form part of its services offering in the future".

It did not elaborate.

(Reporting by Jarni Blakkarly; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)