By Pierre Bertrand
Atlantia SpA late on Wednesday said that the Bank of Italy has cleared the way for the buyout by Italy's Benetton family and U.S. fund Blackstone Inc.
The Italian infrastructure company said the bank has authorized the purchase of a qualified indirect stake in Atlantia unit Telepass by the buyers' investment vehicle Schema Alfa.
The approval was necessary because Telepass is a payment system authorized and supervised by the Bank of Italy, an Atlantia spokesman said.
The Bank of Spain also needs to authorize Schema Alfa's buyout as Atlantia is the major shareholder of Spanish infrastructure and toll road management company Abertis, a separate Atlantia spokesman said.
The companies still need the green light from Italy's market regulator Consob for the deal.
In April, the Benetton family and Blackstone submitted a buyout bid of 23 euros ($22.63) a share for Atlantia in addition to a planned dividend of EUR0.74 a share. The offer values Atlantia at roughly 19 billion euros ($20.69 billion).
The plan is to delist the company and take it private.
Write to Pierre Bertrand at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires