Reversal risk on the reorganization of Autostrade. On Thursday morning, the Spanish construction group Acs would have expressed an interest in acquiring the entire capital of Autostrade valuing the manager about 10 billion, according to what was revealed by the online edition of the Financial Times. In support there would be a letter with which the group led by Florentino Perez, also president of Real Madrid, would have made explicit the intention to acquire the concessionaire company from Atlantia, which holds 88% of the capital, of which it is a joint shareholder. joint venture with the Germans of Hochtief in Abertis, the main operator of the Spanish motorway network.
The letter would be evaluated by the board of Atlantia, which just met to examine the € 9.1 billion offer net of the debt of the consortium led by Cassa Depositi with the foreign funds Blackstone and Macquarie. And obviously it will require a careful evaluation by the shareholders of Atlantia, but also of Autostrade, including the Chinese government fund Silk Road and Allianz-Edf which could exercise the co-sale rights from the offer led by Cassa Depositi.
On the other hand, ACS is very liquid at the moment because he has just sold the energy assets for 4.9 billion to the French of Vinci and therefore has a nest egg that he can divert elsewhere even to invest in the parent company Atlantia, perhaps also taking over the share of Edizione, that is the Benetton holding company, which controls it at 30 %. run by one of Spain’s richest men who hopes to add Aspi to its global toll road network.
Given the close relationship between our groups following success of the joint acquisition of Abertis, we believe that Aspi is a very interesting asset that fits perfectly with Acs’ long-term strategy, Prez would have written in the letter. Prez added that ACS would be willing to welcome other investors in the offer, including Cassa Depositi e Prestiti. Chris Hohn, the London-based TCI hedge fund manager who owns 10% in Atlantia, says he expects Atlantia’s board of directors to act in the best interests of all shareholders, and to engage promptly, independently and professional to explore the offer made by ACS. Hohn added: ACS-Abertis seems willing to offer a higher price than Cdp for Aspi and are clearly a superior industry partner than Blackstone and Macquarie. Aspi should be able to be sold to the highest bidder without interference from the Italian government. The Italian government, led by Mario Draghi, has so far taken a less interventionist stance than the previous one. Enrico Giovannini, Minister of Transport, told the media that he hoped the matter would be resolved soon to allow the company to focus on maintenance and infrastructure investments.