Atlantia Takes Control Of South America Unit, Seeks Partners

Date : 02/26/2012 @ 8:57AM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Atlantia (ATL)
Quote : 25.57  0.04 (0.16%) @ 6:43AM
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Atlantia Takes Control Of South America Unit, Seeks Partners

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Italian toll-road operator Atlantia SpA (ATL.MI) said it has gained complete control of Autostrade Sud America Srl, a subsidiary in South America, in the latest of a series of deals that will enable it to generate a third of its profit from activities overseas in the coming years.

Atlantia said in a statement issued over the weekend it nevertheless planned to look for investors interested in buying stakes in the Chilean business of the subsidiary. Known as Grupo Costanera, its manages highways in Chile including one in the capital of Santiago.

"A number of international pension funds and sovereign wealth funds have already expressed interest in acquiring up to 49% of the company," it said of Costanera.

Atlantia also said it had sold to Argofin Finanziaria SpA, a holding of Italy's Gavio family, its 33% stake in IGLI SpA for EUR87.6 million. The sale gives the Gavios further control over builder Impregilo SpA (IPG.MI), of which IGLI is the parent.

Atlantia acquiring control of its South American subsidiary involved three transactions.

Through its unit Autostrade per l'Italia SpA, it acquired a 45.8% stake from the Gavio family's holding SIAS SpA for EUR565.2 million.

It gave SIAS a call option to buy 99.98% of Autostrada Torino-Savona SpA for EUR223 million.

It then bought from Mediobanca SpA (MB.MI), an Italian bank, another 8.47% stake for EUR104.6 million.

"The transaction forms part of the Group's strategy of expanding its presence in high growth countries in which it already operates, above all in major urban areas such as the city of Santiago, and follows on from similar transactions in Brazil," it said in a statement.

"These recent overseas transactions will, over a three-year period, boost the contribution from our overseas businesses to around 30% of Group Ebitda," it quoted Atlantia Chief Executive Giovanni Castellucci as saying.

-By Gilles Castonguay, Dow Jones Newswires; +39 348 596 5667;

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