* Infrastructure group plans to sell 15 pct of motorway unit
* Looks to acquisitions abroad in motorway and airport
* Aims to generate 50 percent of core earnings abroad in
(Recasts to add CEO quotes from investor day)
By Stephen Jewkes and Francesca Landini
MILAN, Oct 19 Italian infrastructure group
Atlantia aims to sell a 15 percent stake in its
Autostrade per l'Italia (ASPI) toll road business to help fund
its expansion outside its home market, its chief executive said
The group, 30 percent controlled by the Benetton family, is
the sole owner of ASPI, which is valued at about 15 billion
euros ($16.4 billion) by sector analysts.
Atlantia also owns Aeroporti di Roma (ADR), the company that
runs Rome airports Fiumicino and Ciampino.
The group's advisers, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Credit
Suisse, will gather non-binding offers for ASPI in November.
The final offers and a preliminary contract are expected in
February, Chief Executive Giovanni Castellucci told a meeting of
analysts and investors in London.
The infrastructure group wants to boost the share of core
earnings from its overseas operations to 50 percent in 2020 from
the current 25 percent, the CEO said.
Atlantia expects strong demand for the ASPI stake from
large pension and sovereign wealth funds keen to invest in
Italy, Castellucci said, without naming any potential buyer.
"Atlantia is looking to speed up its international expansion
by acquiring attractive motorway and airport assets,"
ADR, however, would not be put on the block, he said. Last
year Atlantia failed to sell a minority stake in the unit.
The group said it planned to restructure its activities into
four divisions and separate its Italian motorway assets from
those abroad to make the units more attractive for investors.
Atlantia this year bought a majority stake in France's Nice
Cote d'Azur airport and a small stake in SAVE, the
operator of Venice airport, and there is more to come.
"We will be picky on core assets: we will look at urban toll
roads... and global destination airports," Castellucci said,
adding payments systems and toll collection businesses could
also attract the group's interest.
If Atlantia fails to find the right investment opportunities
it will return the money to investors with a buyback.
In a statement issued ahead of its investor day, the company
said it planned to spend more than 5 billion euros on its
Italian motorway network over the next 5 years and 2.5 billion
euros on its Rome airport assets.
The group also said it expected its revenue to grow to 6.8
billion euros in 2020 from the current 5.5 billion euros, with
core earnings in the period growing around 7 percent per year.
It also expects to grow dividends by 10 percent per year
from this year to 2020.
($1 = 0.9123 euros)
(Additional reporting by Agnieszka Flak; Editing by Keith Weir)