December 23, 2019 / 2:43 PM / a month ago

Italy's motorway operator could fail if government revokes license: source

ROME (Reuters) - A source close to Atlantia’s (ATL.MI) motorway unit warned on Monday the company would go bankrupt if the government revoked its concession without compensation following the deadly collapse of a bridge last year.

The source said that the company, Autostrade per l’Italia (ASPI), would be unable to pay back 10.8 billion euros ($12 billion) in debt if it were stripped of its motorway concession without receiving any indemnity.

The source said that should ASPI default on its debt, this would in turn hit the ability of Atlantia, which owns 88% of ASPI, to repay 5.3 billion euros of its own debt.

Atlantia, which is controlled by the Benetton family, ASPI and another subsidiary have been under intense scrutiny following the August 2018 collapse of a motorway bridge in Genoa, which killed 43 people.

Top officials in Italy’s ruling coalition will meet later on Monday to try to resolve a dispute over plans to make it easier to revoke ASPI’s motorway concession, a government source said.

Reporting by Stefano Bernabei, writing by Francesca Landini, editing by Silvia Aloisi

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