ACS, Spain’s largest contractor, confirmed on Friday that it made an offer to buy a controlling share of Italian toll-road operator, Autostrade per l’Italia, which manages half of Italy’s motorway network, Reuters reports.
The offer, which ACS said was worth between €9bn and €10bn, was made to Atlantia, an Italian holding company that holds an 88% stake in Autostrade.
ACS said in a statement that it had sent a letter to Atlantia’s board of directors. It added that it was also interested in buying shares held by other investors, such as state-owned investment bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP).
The Italian company is also evaluating an offer from a consortium of CDP, US investor Blackstone Infrastructure Advisers and Australian financier Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.
Atlantia, controlled by the Benetton family, has been under pressure to sell its stake in Autostrade since the 2018 collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa that led to 43 deaths.
A source close to the rival consortium told Reuters that Atlantia would choose the CDP offer. They commented: "Atlantia has an offer on the table that can be signed in days, the other is woolly and a long way off."
ACS, which has not said how it would structure its deal, said in its statement on Friday that it was open to join with other investors, including CDP.
Image: A sell off of Autostrade has been seen as likely since the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa (State Police of Italy)