ACS Study initiates a takeover bid for its partner in Atlantia, Abertis Listen to this article

ACS is considering launching a takeover bid for Italian infrastructure group Atlantia, which currently has a market value of €14.7 billion, although including premiums, the company’s acquisition will be one of the five biggest announcements to date in 2022 , as revealed by Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the operation by the agency.

Atlantia has a debt of 30,000 million after acquiring more than 50% of Abertis’ one share in Abertis’ capital, of which ACS owns the rest of the capital. However, taking over the Italian company controlled by the Benetton family would not be easy for the Spanish construction company headed by Florentino Pérez as it would require the agreement of the family and could be analyzed by the Italian government.

Industrial clan Benetton recently increased its control over Atlantia by increasing its stake to 33% following the €8bn sale of the Italian toll division. The company has also attracted the interest of various infrastructure investors and venture capital funds, with whom ACS may negotiate, even considering a hostile takeover bid. Representatives for ACS, Atlantia and Perez declined to comment at the time of writing, while a spokesman for the Benetton family was not immediately available for comment.

Sources consulted by Bloomberg said “deliberations are ongoing and there is no certainty” that the ACS will decide to make a proposal. After disclosing this information, Atlantia shares rose as much as 6.7% in the session on Wednesday, though they eventually closed up 19 euros, up 2.45%. Meanwhile, the ACS title rose 3.81% to 23.46 euros.

Atlantia controls 48 highway concessions in 11 countries, totaling 9,346 km under management. Its main asset in this business is Abertis, which has already been shared with ACS. It also operates five airports, Fiumicino and Ciampino in Rome, and Nice, Cannes and St Tropez on the French Cte d’Azur. In 2021 the group’s income reached EUR 6,400 million for an EBITDA of 4,000 million. The company generates free cash flow of ₹ 2,900 million annually.

ACS has already shown interest in highway firm Ostostrade, in the wake of the fact that Atlantia was forced to sell after the Morandi Viaduct incident, which killed 43 people in Genoa in August 2018. ACS’s non-binding offering reached $10,000 million, but in the end it was a consortium led by the public Casa Depositi e Prestiti that acquired Transalpine, the largest motorway operator in the country.

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Abertis. partner in

ACS and Atlantia are capital partners in Abertis. In fact, on the same Tuesday, the general general meeting of shareholders of Abertis Infrastructure approved the distribution of 601.6 million euros among its shareholders, ACS and Atlantia, through the reduction of the company’s share capital.

Atlantia’s capitalization is close to EUR 15,690 million. The Spanish company has more than €4,900 million it recorded from the sale of its industrial services division to French Vinci at the end of 2021. The second shareholder of Transalpine Company is the Singapore GIC Fund, with 8.29%, ahead of HSBC, with 5.01%, and the Fondazione Casa di Rispermio di Torino, with 4.54%.

According to information sent to the National Securities Markets Commission (CNMV), where all agreements approved by the Abertis meeting are recorded, the distribution will be EUR 0.66 per share and will be made within a period of two months from the final announcement. capital reduction agreement. This reduction would be for the same amount, 601.6 million euros, and would require making the corresponding accounting adjustments, reducing the balance sheet item of subscribed share capital and adjusting its face value.