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Analysts see price of “gargantuan” buyout offer for Atlantia as fair – Metro US

Analysts see price of “gargantuan” buyout offer for Atlantia as fair

FILE PHOTO: A logo of the Atlantia Group is seen
FILE PHOTO: A logo of the Atlantia Group is seen outside its headquarters in Rome, Italy

MILAN (Reuters) -Shares in Atlantia rose more than 5% on Thursday after Italy’s Benetton family and U.S. investment fund Blackstone tabled their offer to buy out investors in the airport and motorway operator and take it private.

The offer’s price of 23 euros a share represents a premium of 36.3% over the Atlantia’s share price over the past six months, and values the company at 58 billion euros ($63 billion) including debt.

Here is a summary of analyst comments:

PITCHBOOK SENIOR ANALYST AND PRIVATE EQUITY LEAD WYLIE FERNYHOUGH

“The gargantuan Benetton and Blackstone-led Atlantia deal redefines how investors will think about infrastructure investments due to its sheer size alone.

The deal illustrates the depth of private markets and how attractive infrastructure assets have become in this inflationary environment. With tens of billions of dollars pouring into infrastructure funds, we expect additional deals from Brookfield, GIP, and others in excess of $10 billion.”

BESTINVER ANALYST MARCO OPIPARI

“The price of 23.74 euros, which includes the dividend, is at a premium of 28% compared with the share price of Atlantia before speculations over possible bids began. I think it is adequate and there is a good chance of reaching the targeted 90% acceptance threshold.

“Potential counter-offers are unlikely because any rival consortium would be in a position of significant disadvantage.”

EQUITA SIM ANALYST ROBERTO LETIZIA

“The pricing of the offer is attractive also in light of the premium it offers on our valuation of 20.5 euros per share, which already included a 5% speculative premium.”

COWEN VICE PRESIDENT ALISTAIR MANKIN:

“The market is welcoming the deal price – overall it looks straight forward to close this transaction assuming no major escalation in the Russia/Ukraine war. The market is focused on the material adverse change condition which specifically carves in potential developments in Russia/Ukraine, certain developments may give the Benetton/Blackstone consortium the ability to walk away from this deal.”

($1 = 0.9170 euros)

(Reporting by Federico Maccioni and Giancarlo Navach;Editing by Valentina Za and Josephine Mason)

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