Astaldi “in talks with US investors” over emergency funding

Troubled Italian contractor Astaldi is in talks with possible lenders to obtain a €70m bridging loan that will enable it to continue until the end of February, according to a report from the Reuters news agency.

A source told Reuters that the €70m was part of a €200m finance package that would cover the company’s needs until the end of 2019.

Astaldi, which is Italy’s third biggest construction group by revenue, and its biggest infrastructure provider, filed for court protection from creditors in September after finding itself unable to sell its 33% equity stake in the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge over the Bosphorus in Istanbul (pictured).

A second source said the Rome-based company was talking to US investment companies Fortress and Sound Point Capital about the loan.

Reports in the Italian press suggest that the company was likely to pay an interest rate of between 10% and 15% on any money it was able to obtain.

According to the terms of Astaldi’s protection agreement, it is due to present its business plans to the court by 16 December. However, it is expected to request a further 60 days to assess expressions of interest from potential partners.

Italian construction group Salini Impregilo and Japan’s IHI Corporation have expressed interest buying the company, and France’s Vinci is said to be interested in certain of its business units.

Image: The Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge (US Navy)

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