(Reuters) – Italian caterer Autogrill SpA said on Wednesday it was selling its US road business to a consortium led by Blackstone Infrastructure Partners for $ 375 million.
The sale of businesses offering food and drink from brands such as Starbucks and Burger King along this highway is part of Autogrill’s plans set for 2019.
The Benetton family-controlled group sold its Spain operations to a Barcelona, Area-based restaurant group in January, while the Canadian highway travel center operation was sold out about two years ago.
Autogrill, which also runs a catering business at the airport, hopes to finalize a deal by the summer of 2021.
Because of the sale, the company revised its revenue guidelines for this year and 2024.
It posted a loss of 480 million euros last year as the pandemic vacated the bars and restaurants it runs on airports and highways.
Reporting by Sarah Morland in Gdansk; edited by Jonathan Oatis
MILAN (Reuters) – Atlantia agreed to extend talks with a consortium led by state lender CDP regarding the sale of its 88% stake in highway unit Autostrade per l’Italia until March 27, the Italian infrastructure group said on Tuesday.
CDP, along with co-investors Macquarie and Blackstone, and Atlantia have been negotiating Autostrade since last year as part of efforts to end a dispute sparked by the 2018 collapse of the bridge run by the unit.
Atlantia hopes for “substantial improvements” in the consortium’s offering, the group said in a statement, adding that, if a compromise is reached, they could submit new proposals to its shareholders.
Last month the consortium presented a binding proposal valuing all Autostrades at 9.1 billion euros but Atlantia advisers said the fair value of the business was at least 10.5 billion euros, three sources close to the matter said.
The consortium also asked Atlantia to guarantee up to 700 million euros in potential damage claims and another 800 million euros in pending legal cases, making the offer less attractive.
To date there has been no concrete improvement to the proposals submitted, said two sources with knowledge of the matter, adding that there was still room for negotiations.
The Benetton family, which controls Atlantia with a 30% stake, last week supported extended talks with the CDP, asking the group chair to negotiate an increase in the offer, said a source close to the matter.
Minority investors, including hedge fund TCI, even asked the group to reject the consortium’s offer which was considered too low.
Tuesday marked an earlier deadline for Atlantia to decide whether to accept or reject the binding offer made by the consortium.
Reporting by Andrea Mandalà, Francesca Landini and Stephen Jewkes; editing by Cristina Carlevaro and David Gregorio
MELBOURNE (Reuters Brief) – A brief insight into global finance in the Covid-19 era.
ON THE AIR. Australia’s pandemic support is shifting from work to play. With the government’s JobKeeper subsidy program ending this month, Canberra wants to shore up a struggling tourism industry by covering half of the cost of 800,000 air tickets as part of a broader A $ 1.2 billion ($ 930 million) package that also aims to preserve internationally. travel work.
Internal borders between states were quickly closed as new cases of the virus emerged, so it’s unclear whether austerity will tempt tourists. What’s more, a similar discount scheme in Japan backfired last summer when it was blamed for spreading Covid-19.
Australian timing may be better than Tokyo’s, given its successful containment measures. The impact of the budget also appears to be manageable. A typical discount ticket from Melbourne to the Gold Coast, for example, costs around A $ 200. That means the ticket price could be around A $ 80 million. The tourists themselves will then help maintain a visitor-dependent business. Economically, it is more about the destination than the journey. (By Jeffrey Goldfarb)
Reuters Breakingviews is the world’s leading source of agenda setting financial insights. As the Reuters brand for financial commentary, we dissect the big business and economic stories that are scattered around the world every day. A global team of about 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and other major cities provides real-time expert analysis.
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
BERLIN (Reuters) – Heavy snowfall across Germany has disrupted flights and road and rail travel, with locked Germans warned to stay home as temperatures drop to their lowest levels so far this winter.
Thousands of people in and around the southern city of Nuremberg were even told by the N-Ergie utility to turn off their heaters after a fire at a factory about its ability to generate heat.
Many trains were canceled or delayed in much of the country, and commuter train services in the states of Lower Saxony and Bremen were completely suspended, operator Deutsche Bahn said.
Flights at Dortmund Airport were suspended on Sunday due to weather and will resume on Thursday, an airport spokesman said.
Drivers forced to spend the night in their cars on A2 highway in northern Germany are given blankets, hot tea and food by the Federal Technical Assistance Agency (THW) which is deploying teams across Germany to clear vehicles and clear snow.
Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer urged Germans, who have been isolated due to the coronavirus crisis, to stay at home, predicting that transportation disruptions would persist until at least Wednesday.
Temperatures on Tuesday fell to -6 degrees Celsius in Berlin and are projected to drop to -16 degrees at night, freezing many of the German capital’s canals and prompting Berlin police to warn Berliners against stepping on thin ice.
The German Weather Service said this week of February was the coldest in Germany since 2012, but warned that global warming was making cold clashes less common.
“What we are experiencing now is a strange thing, but it has nothing to do with general trends and does not speak out against climate change,” Service spokesman Andreas Friedrich told Reuters.
Reporting by Riham Alkousaa and Maria Sheahan; Edited by Alexandra Hudson