The Italian family Benetton and the US investment fund Blackstone have submitted an offer to buy the shares held by Atlantia investors and take the airport and highway operator off the stock market, valuing it at 58 billion euros. euros (63,000 million dollars) including debt.
The offer comes as Atlantia prepares to pocket €8bn from the sale of its Italian motorway unit and end a political dispute sparked by the deadly 2018 collapse of a motorway bridge run by the group.
In a statement, the two partners said they would offer 23 euros per share, representing a 36.3% premium over Atlantia’s share price over the past six months.
The shares closed 0.8% higher on Wednesday at 21.89 euros each, after rising about 20% in the past 10 days.
Delisting would open a new chapter for Atlantia after the risk of being stripped of its toll road concession jeopardized its business over the last four years, while the deaths of 43 people in the bridge disaster ruined its reputation.
The bidders said they would spend up to 12.7 billion euros in cash on the purchase offer, targeting 66.7% of Atlantia’s share capital.
Atlantia had a debt of 38,600 million euros at the end of 2021, a figure that will be reduced when it completes the sale of the highway unit.
Shareholders who take part in the share offering will continue to receive a proposed dividend of €0.74 per share.
The Benettons and Blackstone said they “will fully support Atlantia’s long-term investment strategy, current business plan and sustainable growth,” adding that they will help the group seize investment opportunities in the infrastructure and mobility sectors.
The Benettons, who own 33% of Atlantia, said last week they were in talks with Blackstone after rejecting a proposal by investment funds Global Infrastructure Partners and Brookfield to acquire Atlantia and hand over its highway concessions to Spaniard Florentino Pérez.
The Edizione holding, directed by Alessandro Benetton since January, will have 65% of the investment vehicle that launches the offer on Atlantia, while the US firm will have the rest.
Italian banking foundation CRT, a traditional Atlantia shareholder, has already agreed to submit its 4.5% stake in the offer, according to the bidders.
Goldman Sachs, Mediobanca, Bank of America, JPMorgan, UBS and UniCredit act as financial advisors to the Benettons and Blackstone. Gatti Pavesi Bianchi Ludovici, Legance, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP are the legal advisers.
(1 US dollar = 0.9164 euros)
Samuel Edwards is the name you must have heard many times while reading reports related to Finance, that’s what he is good at. From Major Investments to Stock Market Updates, he got ’em all. Be ready to blow your mind by the mind-blowing reports of Finance World from Samuel Edwards.