Italy’s Atlantia rallies after entering exclusive talks with CDP

In this news, we discuss the Italy’s Atlantia rallies after entering exclusive talks with CDP.

MILAN (Reuters) – Shares of Atlantia ATL.MI rose more than 10% on Wednesday after entering exclusive negotiations with Italian state lender CDP over the sale of its motorway assets, a sign that a one-way solution long-standing dispute with Rome could be near.

Action was also boosted by reports based on sources in the La Repubblica and Il Messaggero dailies that CDP had partnered with private equity firm Blackstone BX.N and infrastructure fund Macquarie to prepare a offer for Atlantia’s 88% stake in Autostrade per l’Italia (ASPI).

Atlantia said on Tuesday that it had entered into exclusive talks with CDP until October 18, adding that it was ready to consider a potential offer from CDP and other investors for Autostrade’s stake.

Atlantia shares were up 10.2% at 8:10 a.m. GMT.

“An agreement with the CDP for the sale of ASPI would eliminate the political risk, solve the debt problem in the holding company …, accelerate the return to an investment grade rating of the group and provide financial flexibility to Atlantia,” said the Equita broker in a Note.

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CDP, Blackstone, Macquarie could not be reached immediately for comment on the newspaper articles.

A source close to the deal said talks between CDP and Atlantia are at an early stage and there are talks with other potential investors, no joint offers are on the table yet.

Atlantia has been in the throes of a legal dispute with the Italian government since 2018, when a bridge operated by Autostrade collapsed, killing 43 people. The government threatened to withdraw Autostrade its motorway license.

The two sides moved closer to a deal in July, when Rome approved a plan that would see Atlantia cede control of Autostrade to the CDP, but talks had since come to a halt due to disagreements over how to put it. implemented.

According to Il Messaggero, an offer from the CDP-led consortium could be presented as early as October 18, a day before Atlantia holds a board of directors, and could be worth between 8 and 10 billion euros.

Reporting by Agnieszka Flak, Stefano Bernabei, additional reporting by Danilo Masoni; edited by Louise Heavens

Original © Thomson Reuters

Originally posted 2020-10-14 08:06:10.

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