Italian infrastructure group Atlantia wants to boost the share of core earnings from its overseas operations to 50 percent in 2020 from the current 25 percent. So to fulfill the challenge they will sell 15 percent stake in its Autostrade per l’Italia (ASPI) toll road business to help fund its expansion outside its home market. The group, 30 percent controlled by the Benetton family, is the sole owner of ASPI, which is valued at about €15 billion ($15.8 billion) by sector analysts.
Atlantia this year bought a majority stake in France’s Nice Cote d’Azur airport and a small stake in SAVE, the operator of Venice airport. The group said it planned to restructure its activities into four divisions and separate its Italian motorway assets from those abroad to make the units more attractive for investors. The infrastructure group “Atlantia is looking to speed up its international expansion by acquiring attractive motorway and airport assets,” Chief Executive Giovanni Castellucci said.
The company said it planned to spend more than €5 billion ($5.26billion) on its Italian motorway network over the next 5 years and €2.5 billion ($2.6 billion) on its Rome airport assets. It is believed that if Atlantia fails to find the right investment opportunities, it will return the money to investors with a buyback.
The group is expected to grow its revenue to €6.8 billion ($7.16 billion) in 2020 from the current €5.5 billion ($5.7 billion), with core earnings in the period growing around 7 percent per year.
Atlantia is an Italian holding company headquartered in Rome with a market capitalization of €20.2bn($21.2 billion) at the end of 2015. Founded in 1982 Atlantia’s primary asset is Autostrade per l’Italia, the largest concessionaire on the Italian autostrade network. The firm is publicly traded on the Milan Stock Exchange.
Atlantia’s largest single shareholder with around 38% of the company is Sintonia, an investment vehicle of the Benetton family.