ACS offers 10,000 million for the Italian toll roads of Atlantia

Guillermo Gines

Madrid

Updated:

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ACS moves to acquire ASPI. The Spanish infrastructure group has sent Atlantia a letter in which it assures that it would be willing to offer 10,000 million euros for the concessionaire Highways for Italy, the main concessionaire of toll roads in Italy.

The Spanish company intends to strengthen its highway network with this operation, which it already strengthened in 2018 with the acquisition of 50% less one share of Abertis. The rest of the capital stock is handled by Atlantia.

The good coexistence between both companies in the capital of the concessionaire is one of the reasons that has pushed ACS to bid for ASPI, according to the letter sent to Atlantia, to which the ‘Financial Times’ has had access. “Given the close relationship between our groups following the successful joint acquisition of Abertis, ACS has been following ASPI’s situation for the past few months and we believe that ASPI is a very interesting asset that fits perfectly into ACS’s long-term strategy”, reads the letter, written by Florentino Pérez himself.

ACS is not, however, the only one interested in the Atlantia division. Last week some funds led by the Italian investment bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and in which managers such as Blackstone are also present.

“We welcome the offer from ACS, which is far superior to the offer made by CDP and its partners,” Jonathan Amouyal, partner at TCI Advisory, which owns 10% of Atlantia, told Reuters.

Pérez already confirmed at the beginning of this week in a meeting with analysts his intention to create a large infrastructure group after having disposed of its industrial division, which has just been sold to the French multinational Vinci for 5,000 million euros.

However, the executive clarified that any movement in this sense will always have to count “with the wishes of the Italian Government”, since it is the first interested in acquiring the transalpine highways after an agreement that forced Atlantia, which owns 88% of ASPI, to put them sale after the collapse of a bridge in Genoa in the summer of 2018.

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