Shares in Italian highway group ASTM surged in a bid to make the company private | Instant News


MILAN, Feb 22 (Reuters) – ASTM shares surged 27% on Monday, lifted by a buyout offer from a top Italian motorway group investor who wants to take the company private and revamp it.

Nuova Argo Finanziaria (NAF), which holds a 42% stake in ASTM, said at the weekend it would offer 25.60 euros per share in a new vehicle to buy minority investors at an outlay of up to 1.7 billion euros ($ 2 billion).

This represents a premium of 28.8% over ASTM’s official closing price on Friday.

The NAF said it plans to transform business, adding it will be easier to pursue reorganization of unlisted companies.

The Italian Gavio family are major investors in the NAF along with the infrastructure arm of French private equity firm Ardian.

Ardian agreed to invest in ASTM just days before a highway bridge operated by toll road company Atlantia collapsed in August 2018, killing 43 people.

In response to the tragedy, the Italian government has stepped up investment oversight by concessionaires, establishing a new body to monitor safety standards.

$ 1 = 0.8269 euros Report by Elisa Anzolin, written by Valentina Za; Edited by Kirsten Donovan

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