Atlantia plans full merger with Gemina without spending cash

MILAN Tue Feb 5, 2013 1:58am EST

MILAN Feb 5 (Reuters) - Italian highways operator Atlantia plans to merge with Rome airport holding Gemina without spending any cash, the chief executive of Atlantia said in a newspaper interview on Tuesday.

Investors are waiting to hear whether the planned merger will be carried out through a share swap plus cash component. The transaction is seen worth about 1.1 billion euros ($1.5 billion).

"I don't want to go into the technical details," said Chief Executive Giovanni Castellucci. "Our goal is clear: a full merger without spending any cash, so that we don't increase Atlantia's debt level."

Atlantia has long-term debt of 13.6 billion euros, Reuters data shows. The company may provide more information on the planned merger after after its board meeting on March 8. ($1=0.7376 euros) (Reporting by Jennifer Clark; Editing by Mike Nesbit)