MILAN, May 31 (Reuters) - Atlantia investors are on
Monday expected to back the sale of the group's motorway unit to
Italian state lender CDP and allies, two sources close to the
matter said, bringing to an end a dispute triggered by a deadly
bridge disaster in 2018.
Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), together with Blackstone
and Macquarie, put forward an offer valuing
Atlantia's Autostrade per l'Italia unit at 9.3 billion euros
($11 billion) last month.
The proposal is sponsored by the government, which has been
seeking to regain control of Autostrade ever since a bridge run
by the toll-road company in the port city of Genoa gave way and
killed 43 people on August 14, 2018.
Proxy advisers have recommended investors in Atlantia give
their go-ahead to the sale of the infrastructure group's 88%
stake in Autostrade to the CDP consortium.
"No surprises are expected after the proxy
advisers backed the deal," one of the sources with knowledge of
the matter told Reuters.
A deal would mean that the powerful Benetton family, which
controls Atlantia, will bow out of Autostrade, as requested by a
part of Italy's governing coalition.
It would also release capital and managers' time at the
group, allowing it to pursue new initiatives after nearly three
years of impasse.
The transaction is expected to go through even if some
minority shareholders, including TCI, are against it. The
activist fund has repeatedly criticised the deal, saying
Autostrade is worth no less than 11 billion euros.
Germany's Allianz and funds DIF, EDF Invest and
China's Silk Road Fund, which own 12% of Autostrade, have an
option to sell their stakes to the CDP consortium under the same
Shares in Atlantia are up 3.2% at 0825 GMT, outperforming a
0.3% rise in Milan's bluechip index.
($1 = 0.8203 euros)
(Additional reporting by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Jan Harvey)