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€5bn wiped off Italian bridge operator Atlantia after Genoa disaster

Ayesha Javed
The Morandi motorway bridge collapsed on Tuesday - www.alamy.com

Atlantia, the company behind the motorway bridge that collapsed in the port city of Genoa this week, has warned its investors to prepare for it losing valuable contracts, wiping more than €5bn (£4.5bn) from its value.

The Italian-Spanish infrastructure company is the majority owner of Autostrade, a major toll road operator, which ran the Morandi motorway bridge that collapsed on Tuesday, leaving 39 dead - a number that is expected to rise as recovery efforts continue.

The Italian government said it would revoke the motorway concession from Autostrade ahead of a criminal inquiry into the incident. Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio added that the state may have to take over Italy’s motorways if concession holders were not running them properly.

The government has also threatened Autostrade with hefty fines and demanded that it contribute to the reconstruction effort, although investigators have not established the cause of the incident. Atlantia has previously said that it met all maintenance obligations for the 1.2km-long bridge.

Genoa bridge disaster | Atlantia

Atlantia said that it had not received an official complaint from the government before the announcement and that the causes of the disaster had not been identified.

It added that Autostrade was entitled to compensation for the early termination of the concession but nevertheless warned that the “modality of such announcement may have impacts on the Atlantia shareholders and bondholders”.

Shares in the company fell 25.6pc to €17.52 in morning trading, recovering slightly by mid-afternoon, down 21.5pc. Its market capitalisation plunged from €20bn at the start of the week to around €15.4bn. 

Autostrade bondholders can also request an early repayment of the €3.2bn (£2.5bn) instruments if the toll concession is revoked, Reuters reported.