(Adds CEO saying to keep size of foreign investment unchanged)
MILAN, March 11 The head of Italy's largest
highway group Atlantia sees no reason right now to
change its dividend policy following a deal to buy airport
"For the time being I do not see any reason to change the
dividend policy. It's something we will address after the
shareholders meetings and a first decision will be taken with
the interim dividend in November," Giovanni Castellucci told a
conference call with analysts on Monday.
Atlantia paid a dividend of 0.746 euros per share in 2011.
It also paid an interim dividend.
The company agreed on Friday to buy Gemina in an all-share
deal to create one of the biggest European motorway and airport
groups with businesses in Italy and Latin America.
Gemina controls Rome airport operator ADR, which has started
rolling out an ambitious investment plan following the approval
last year of a new tariff scheme that ended years of regulatory
uncertainty for Italy's largest airport hub.
ADR plans to invest more than 12 billion euros by 2044 with
a view to handling 100 million passengers by that date, up by an
average of 2.7 percent per year from 2012.
In the conference call, Castellucci said the new group would
keep investing about 100-200 million euros per year outside
Italy and that it was eyeing bids for Brazilian airports in Belo
Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro.
He said the main reason behind the acquisition of Gemina was
that the Rome airport hub of Fiumicino would grow strongly in
the medium to long term, thanks to its global exposure.
"We do not plan an escalation in investments to grow outside
Italy," he said.
(Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Mark Potter)