Atlantia and Abertis: the story so far

- Leadership - Jun 16, 2017

The purchase of Spanish road infrastructure business Abertis by Italian holding company Atlantia moved a step closer this week. Here we detail the story so far:

April: Atlantia approaches Abertis about a tie-up that, according to the FT, ‘would create one of the largest toll road and infrastructure groups in the world’. In a statement, Abertis confirm that an enquiry has been made but that the terms of the deal hadn’t been discussed. 

The news came over a decade after a planned cross-border merger between the two worth €25bn fell through due to complications involving the Italian government at the time.

May: A formal ‘cash-and-share’ offer is tabled by Atlantia, estimated at €16.3bn.

The Italian company said it would offer €16.50 for each Abertis share. As an alternative, it said Abertis shareholders can receive stocks at a swap ratio of 0.697 Atlantia shares for each Abertis one.

"Should the offer be successful, the combined group will result in a very strong cash-flow generation capacity and ability to invest which, together with our unique geographic presence, will allow us to be the most suitable partner to address the needs of the relevant institutions and customers in our countries of operation," said Atlantia Chief Executive Giovanni Castellucci last month.

June: On Thursday and with Abertis still mulling over the original proposal, Atlantia revealed that they would consider a full cash offer but that their preferred option remains ‘cash-and share’. 

They say they would require Spanish regulator CNMV "for permission to modify the terms of the offer ... extending the cash offer to the entirety of Abertis shares."

There is now expected a two to three-month waiting period while the regulator gets to work.

Abertis manages toll roads in 14 countries and is the leading operator in Spain, Brazil and Chile. In 2016, they earned €796m and reported sales of €4.94bn. 

Atlantia operates 5,000km of toll roads in Italy, Brazil, Chile, India and Poland, is owned by the Benetton family and reported earnings in 2016 of €1.24bn.

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