U.S. Markets closed

CDP needs more time to present Autostrade bid - sources

·2 min read

MILAN, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Italian state-backed investor CDP will press ahead with due diligence on Atlantia's motorway unit Autostrade per l'Italia and will not present a final offer for the asset on Monday, two sources close to the matter said on Saturday.

The sources said CDP and its co-investors Macquarie and Blackstone are waiting for the final approval of a new tariff system for Autostrade.

According to three different sources, the Italian government has given an initial approval to a new tariff system sending it to two technical bodies for review before the final green light.

The new tariff system sets a 1.64% average annual increase for tolls and confirms Autostrade will spend 7 billion euros on maintenance and 14.5 billion euros on investments by 2038, one of the sources said.

The tariff system is part of a deal being negotiated by Atlantia and the government to end a dispute over Autostrade's concession, triggered by the 2018 deadly collapse of a motorway bridge operated by the company.

In July the government agreed to settle the dispute by giving control of the motorway network to CDP and reforming the toll system.

Reaching an agreement for the sale of Atlantia's 88% stake in Autostrade to a consortium of investors led by CDP, however, has proven complicated.

In the last few weeks tensions within the government and a probe over alleged mismanagement by several former executives of Autostrade have weighed on negotiations, the sources said.

CDP, which last month tabled a preliminary offer for Autostrade together with its consortium partners, is concerned about the state of the motorway network and potential future damage claims linked to the bridge collapse, one source said.

In a preliminary proposal the consortium led by CDP valued the whole of Autostrade at 8.5 billion-9.5 billion euros.

CDP said on Oct. 28 it needed 10 weeks to complete due diligence, while Atlantia asked for a bid on Nov. 30.

(Reporting by Francesca Landini, Stephen Jewkes, Giuseppe Fonte; writing by Francesca Landini, editing by Elvira Pollina and David Evans)