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Atlantia pockets 8.2 billion euros from sale of Italian motorway assets

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·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: General view of an infrastructure group Atlantia's headquarters, in Rome
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MILAN (Reuters) -Italian infrastructure group Atlantia said on Thursday it had finalised the sale of its controlling stake in Italian motorway unit Autostrade per l'Italia in a deal worth 8.2 billion euros ($8.6 billion).

The closing marks the definitive exit of the Benetton-led group from the motorway business in Italy almost four years after the collapse of a bridge run by Autostrade in Genoa, which killed 43 people.

Autostrade manages more than 3,000 kilometres of toll roads across Italy under long-term concessions granted by the Italian state. It is responsible for the development, maintenance and management of motorways on a network with approximately 4 million travellers per day.

"Atlantia received a total sale consideration equal to 8.199 billion euros including the ticking fee accrued and net of minor

price adjustments recognised under the terms of the sale agreement," the group said.

Under terms of the contract signed last year, Atlantia will also get an earn-out if the Italian government partially compensates Autostrade for traffic lost between 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

"On the potential earn-out, there will be more clarity in the second part of this year," one source with knowledge of the matter said.

Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) is leading the consortium of buyers that will acquire Atlantia's 88% stake in Autostrade and will acquire the asset through an investment vehicle called Holding Reti Autostradali (HRA).

HRA is 51% owned by CDP, with CDP's co-investors Macquarie and Blackstone each holding a 24.5% stake.

Lured by the expectation that Atlantia would pocket more than 8 billion euros for Autostrade, infrastructure funds GIP and Brookfield approached the Benettons with a plan to buy Atlantia in March.

The Benettons rebuffed the offer and last month announced the launch of a takeover bid for Atlantia, planning to delist it with the help of Blackstone.

($1 = 0.9513 euros)

(Reporting by Francesca LandiniEditing by Alexandra Hudson and Richard Chang)

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