Atlantia buffers the government in Brussels on Autostrade (Aspi), all the details

Atlantia buffers the government in Brussels on Autostrade (Aspi), all the details

Atlantia writes to the EU Commission criticizing the Conte government for the rule of the Milleproroghe decree and for the forcing pro Cdp in the Aspi dossier (Autostrade per l'Italia)

Increasingly latent tensions between Atlantia-Aspi and the government. All the latest news.

The Conte government has violated European rules on the Aspi dossier: Atlantia wrote it in black and white in a letter to the vice president of the EU Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis.

The top management of the holding that controls Autostrade per l'Italia (Aspi) criticize – according to what the Financial Times reveals today – the fact that the measures of the Milleproroghe decree have made it possible to "dramatically reduce" the compensation granted to the group in the event of early revocation to the Autostrade per l'Italia contract.

According to what the Ft reveals, Atlantia has asked Brussels to intervene in an escalation of controversies over the collapse of the Morandi bridge. In a letter sent to Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis last week, the President of Atlantia, Fabio Cerchiai, and CEO Carlo Bertazzo not only complained that the new law would allow the government to "drastically reduce" the compensation due to company in case of early termination of the contract and to change the mechanism for setting road tolls. Without the new law, the government would have to pay € 23 billion in compensation to end Autostrade's concessions before 2038.

But Atlantia's top management also claimed that the government would require it to sell its majority stake in Autostrade to "Cassa Depositi e Prestiti at a reduced value, creating significant damage to thousands of Italian and foreign investors".

The Benetton group has therefore asked Brussels to take "the initiative promptly and firmly with the Italian authorities to address the breach of Community law". The letter also states that Atlantia believes that government actions, including the new law approved by decree, violate the principles of Community law, including those relating to compliance with contracts and the market economy.

The company's decision to seek Brussels intervention comes after Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte this week said that the future of Autostrade's concessions "has been dragging on for too long and uncertainty must end." Conte also said that the government will not accept Atlantia's € 3 billion offer, which includes discounts on road tolls and additional infrastructure investments, as a way to resolve the dispute.

Corriere della Sera wrote today: “There are two knots on the table: 1) the sterilization of article 35 of the Milleproroghe requested by the Benettons who, according to them, would make the company no longer bankable. However, the government is not thinking of backing down on a law that has just been converted into Parliament. Without an agreement, the assessment of the 51% share diverges. Financial sources speak of an assessment of around 5 billion because Aspi, with the new regulatory framework, would be worth around 10/11 billion, net of the 9 billion debt. Valuation far from the 14/15 billion of the pre-Mille proroghe era and before the collapse of the Morandi viaduct: 2) The tariff reduction is not financially sustainable for 18 years because it would eliminate the promised investments of 14.5 billion – including the Gronda di Genova and the Passante di Bologna – filter the top of Atlantia ".

The Ministry of Economy is very active, added Corsera : "The meetings that take place in via XX Settembre lead to an inevitable reduction of tariffs by 5% per year, according to the model conceived by the Transport Authority which believes having to lower the rate of return on invested capital by 3%, too high compared to international references. Autostrade – in the last of its proposals contained in the economic-financial plan delivered to the Ministry of Transport in early April – has fixed it for the first 5 years, the Treasury requests it for the entire concession, until 2038. Palazzo Chigi la it is binding on the change of control with a change in the corporate structure. Which would bring the F2i tandem (which would constitute a new vehicle on call having already collected the interest of banking foundations, social security funds and insurance companies such as Poste Vita which would subscribe for 400 million) and Cassa Depositi to 51% of Autostrade. And the holding Atlantia (which now holds 88%, the remaining 12% belongs to the Chinese of Silk Road and Allianz) in a minority position at 49% ".

But the letter revealed by the Financial Times partly changes the situation given the de facto offensive of the Atlantia holding of the Edizione-Benetton group which controls Aspi which has decided to promote an offensive given the executive's guidelines.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Thu, 18 Jun 2020 08:49:09 +0000.