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Banks

CDP-led consortium to start talks with ASPI's minority investors as it agrees to buy 88%

FILE PHOTO: A view of the Autostrade per l'Italia headquarters in Rome, Italy, July 21, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

MILAN (Reuters) - A consortium led by the Italian state lender CDP said on Saturday it had signed an agreement with Atlantia to buy a 88% stake in its motorway unit and would start talks with minority shareholders who have an option to sell their holdings.

The agreement, under which Autostrade per l’Italia (ASPI) is valued at 9.3 billion euros ($11.26 billion), is backed by the Italian government, which has been seeking to regain control of Autostrade ever since a bridge run by the toll-road company in Genoa gave way on Aug. 14, 2018, causing the death of 43 people.

ASPI is one of the leading motorway operators in Europe and manages over 3,000 km of motorways in Italy, with long-term concessions.

The acquisition will be made through a new vehicle dubbed Holding Reti Autostradali (HRA), in which CDP will hold 51%, while Blackstone Infrastructure Partners and Macquarie will hold 24.5% each, they said in a statement.

The completion of the deal is expected no later than June 30, 2022.

Germany’s Allianz and funds DIF, EDF Invest and China’s Silk Road Fund, which own the remaining 11.9% of Autostrade, have an option to sell their stakes to the CDP consortium under the same conditions.

“Following the agreement reached today with Atlantia, the consortium will start explorative talks in order to understand the position of ASPI’s minority shareholders, which have a right to sell the remaining 11.94% of the company”, CDP and its allies added.

($1 = 0.8260 euros)

Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro; Editing by Frances Kerry

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