ROME Atlantia's (ATL.MI) CEO Giovanni Castellucci said the Italian toll-road operator was interested in a tie-up with rival Abertis (ABE.MC) only if the takeover could be conducted in a friendly manner, involving the Spanish group's top shareholder La Caixa.
Speaking at the annual general meeting on Friday, Castellucci said Atlantia had room to raise debt without hurting its credit ratings but would not pursue a deal that endangered the prospect of boosting future dividend payments to shareholders.
He said the company would not keep markets guessing for long after a media leak of its interest for Abertis sped the process up. A deal with Abertis could help Atlantia reach its strategic goals more quickly, he said.
(Reporting by Stefano Bernabei, writing by Valentina Za, editing by Francesca Landini)