The Aspi coil crosses the finish line and after 22 years the highways leave the Benetton Galaxy to return to the General Pavilion. The Atlantia Board of Directors today gave final approval and approved the binding offer to acquire 88.06% of Autostrade per l’Italia, made by the consortium led by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti with foreign funds Blackstone and Macquarie. A new stage comes after May 31, when the infrastructure sector shareholders’ meeting gave the green light to the Board of Directors’ proposal to sell the entire stake owned in Autostrade per l’Italia to the consortium. In fact, the meeting in an advisory manner expressed a positive opinion in the presence of 86.86% of the capital.
The Atlantia Board of Directors, subject to a shareholder vote, put the final part of the transaction into agreement with the offer and authorized Chairman Fabio Cerchiai and Managing Director Carlo Bertazzo to finalize and sign the agreement in compliance with the deadline of tomorrow, June 11th.
The Agreement is subject to the foregoing terms which must occur by March 31, 2022 (the extended stop date) or such other date as will be agreed between the parties, but in any case no later than June 30, 2022. The Transfer Agreement states: It cannot be closed by any No way, even if conditions are met, before November 30, 2021.
A little less than three years after the tragedy of the Morandi Bridge and nearly a year after the agreement at Palazzo Chigi, Aspi is ready to return to the public domain. These were the years when the Benetton Highways were in the eye of the storm with Damocles’ sword to revoke the franchise. In particular, in the past 11 months, the process has run on a roller coaster between stages of stalemate and often close to failure. It took months of intense negotiations between the two parties to come up with the final proposal that reached the Atlantia board of directors, which, after the last amendment, values 200 million, 100% of Aspi at 9.3 billion euros.
But that road is now downhill, understood by the Atlantia board of directors last April 30, which acknowledged the improvements made to the offer by the Cdp-Fondo consortium and indicated that, for the time being, the only tangible alternative to the offer was the Aspi divestment from continuing and complement the litigation initiatives already started in both the administrative offices in Italy and Europe. It must be remembered that what sparked the waters was the expression of interest given by Acs owner Florentino Perez, which did not translate into an offer.