Benefits, Blackstone board suggests valuing Atlantia at $63 billion According to Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of the infrastructure group Atlantia in Rome, Italy October 5, 2020. REUTERS / Guglielmo Mangiapane / File Photo

By Francesca Landini and Valentina Za

MILAN (Reuters) The Benetton family of Italy and American hedge fund Blackstone (NYSE:) have made an offer to acquire investors in Atlantia and take the airport and highway operator private, valuation 58 billion euros ($63 billion) including debt.

The bid comes as Atlantia prepares to pocket 8 billion euros from the sale of its motorway unit in Italy and draw the line over a political dispute caused by the collapse of a motorway bridge caused by a conglomerate. This group runs in 2018.

In a statement, the two partners said they would offer 23 euros a share, or a 36.3% premium over Atlantia’s share price over the past six months.

Shares closed up 0.8% at 21.89 euros on Wednesday, up about a fifth in the past 10 days.

The delisting will open a new chapter for Atlantia after the risk of being stripped of its highway concessions that put its business at risk over the past four years, while the deaths of 43 people in the bridge disaster have already been put at risk. lose its reputation.

Bidders said they would spend up to 12.7 billion euros in cash on the buyback offer, targeting 66.7% of Atlantia’s equity.

Atlantia has 38.6 billion euros in debt at the end of 2021, a number that will drop when it completes the sale of its motorway unit.

Shareholders bidding on their shares will still receive a proposed dividend of €0.74 a share.

Benettons and Blackstone said they would “fully support Atlantia’s long-term investment strategy, current business plan and sustainable growth”, and said they would help the group seize investment opportunities in infrastructure and mobility sectors.

The Benettons, which own 33% of Atlantia, said last week it was in talks with Blackstone after it rejected the approaches of investment funds Global Infrastructure Partners and Brookfield to acquire Atlantia and sell the highway to Florentino. Perez of Spain.

Benettons parent company Edizione, which has been led by Alessandro Benetton since January, will have a 65% stake in the investment vehicle making the offer in Atlantia, with the US company holding the remainder.

Italian banking institution CRT, a longtime investor in Atlantia, has agreed to bid for a 4.5% stake in its shares under the offer, bidders said.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:), Mediobanca (OTC:), Bank of America (NYSE:), JPMorgan (NYSE:), UBS, UniCredit are acting as financial advisors to Benettons and Blackstone. Gatti Pavesi Bianchi Ludovici, Legance, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP are legal advisors.

(1 dollar = 0.9164 euros)

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