Atlantia to stay put on ADR sale

The Italian transport operator, which raised €600m through a bond issue in December, says it has enough cash to support its five-year plan.

Italy’s Atlantia yesterday said it was not in talks with private investors over a possible sale of a minority stake in Aeroporti di Roma (ADR), the company that runs Rome airport.

In a statement, Atlantia claimed it was now in a sufficiently robust financial position to pursue its five-year business plan following its successful fundraise at the end of last year.

ADR issued €600 million worth of senior unsecured bonds in December, maturing in 2012 and yielding 3.28 percent. The proceeds enabled ADR to refinance its medium to long-term debt ahead of maturity, as well as earmark fresh funds for investments.

The issue was more than seven times oversubscribed with strong interest from overseas investors, Atlantia said then.

Prior to the announcement, reports in the local press had suggested Abu Dhabi-based carrier Etihad Airways was interested in buying a stake in ADR, something the company has since denied. Etihad is also in talks to invest in Italian airline Alitalia, a deal on which it is set to make a decision on by early March.

Atlantia last December completed its merger with rival Gemina, handing it control full control over Italy's toll motorway operator Autostrade der l'Italia as well as 96 percent of ADR.

The combined company is controlled by Italy's Benetton family through its infrastructure holding company, Sintonia. It has a market value of about €11 billion, based on today’s share price.

The merger came amid similar consolidation moves in the industry, including Vinci’s acquisition of state-owned operator ANA Aeroportos de Portugal for €3 billion, completed in September.