MILAN (Reuters) – Atlantia will ask shareholders on May 31 to assess a better bid for a highway unit being made by state investors CDP and its partners, the group controlled by Italy’s Benetton family said late Friday.
Negotiations between Atlantia and a consortium consisting of CDP, Macquarie and Blackstone are part of a protracted effort to end a dispute over the future of the group’s Autostrade per l’Italia unit after the deadly bridge disaster.
The sweet deals filed on Thursday include ticking fees of up to 230 million euros ($ 276 million), assuming the deal closes between the end of this year and March 2022, according to a report the Atlantia board has prepared for the shareholders’ meeting, published on Saturday. .
Ticking costs raised Autostrade’s bid valuation to 9.3 billion euros from 9.1 billion euros previously.
“It is not far from the lowest range estimated by the council for the entire Autostrade, given that the lowest price of that range is 9.3 billion euros to 9.5 billion euros,” the report said.
Based on opinions provided by financial advisors and depending on the different calculation methods used, the Atlantia board rates Autostrade per l’Italia at between 9.3 billion euros and 11.5 billion euros, the report showed.
The unit’s future has been in doubt since a bridge run by Italy’s leading highway operator collapsed in the city of Genoa in August 2018, killing 43 people.
The consortium bid is the only company option currently on the table as a rival bid by Spain’s ACS is less advanced and presents “significant risks and uncertainties,” Atlantia said in its statement on Friday and in Saturday’s report.
The only real alternative to the sale of shares in Autostrade is to continue with the pending lawsuits, said Atlantia.
The company’s board will decide on the CDP consortium’s bid on June 11, following a shareholder evaluation.
($ 1 = 0.8321 euros)
Reporting by Francesca Landini; Edited by Valentina Za and Mike Harrison