March 20, 2018 / 11:09 AM / a year ago

Atlantia will not launch tender offer on Cellnex, mulls buying 29 pct -transcript

MILAN, March 20 (Reuters) - Italy’s Atlantia does not want to launch a tender offer on Abertis-controlled Cellnex after agreeing last week to buy the Spanish toll-road operator, CEO Giovanni Castellucci was quoted as telling analysts on a conference call.

The motorway and airport operator, which has an option to invest in Cellnex, will decide by Friday whether to acquire 29.9 percent of the Spanish telecom towers group, Castellucci said, according to a transcript of the conference call published by Thomson Reuters StreetEvents.

Atlantia declined to comment.

“We will never launch a tender offer on Cellnex. We cannot do all this stuff altogether,” the Atlantia CEO said at the conference call held on March 15.

“The question we will address in the next 10 days is whether we want to keep a significant stake below 30 percent of Cellnex.”

Answering an analyst’s question, Castellucci also mentioned the possibility of finding partners for a deal on Cellnex.

“Cellnex is a big company that can really play the consolidation game,” the CEO said.

Under the agreement reached last week with Spanish builder ACS to jointly buy Abertis, Atlantia has an option to buy between 29.9 and 34 percent of Cellnex by March 23, the Italian group said last week.

Any acquisition of more than 30 percent in a company triggers a mandatory tender offer over the target company under Spanish rules.

Reporting by Elisa Anzolin and Francesca Landin in Milan, Stefano Bernabei in Rome; writing by Francesca Landini; editing by Jason Neely

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