Atlantia opens to the sale of Autostrade: “But the operation is not an expropriation” – La Stampa


ROME. A proposal more than the others, at the end of the first summit in Palazzo Chigi on the Autostrade dossier, seems to convince the government: to bring Atlantia to leave the controlling shares of Aspi in favor of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, F2i and other funds of the pension funds, by increasing investments and structurally lowering tariffs. In the two hours of discussion between Giuseppe Conte, the Minister of Transport Paola De Micheli, that of the Economy Roberto Gualtieri and the heads of delegation of the majority parties, the huge files produced by the MIT were illustrated, which start from the analysis of the previous Castellucci management and they end with three resolutive proposals. In addition to the more convincing, which concerns the sale of shares on which the M5S insists, both the revocation of the concessions and the payment of compensation by Autostrade, with the construction of compensatory works and other investments to be included in the plan, remain on the table financial. Too tough, for Pd and Italy alive, the first option; too weak, for M5S and Leu, the second (which remains the favorite of De Micheli).

We have not yet talked about figures, because Conte – after taking over the reins yesterday – asked to keep the two levels separate: Ā«First we decide the way to go, then we go into the economic detailsĀ». But from the head of the delegation of the Movement, Alfonso Bonafede, a precise indication would have arrived on the need to see the Benettons come out “damaged” from this negotiation, even if they were not to go through a revocation. Seeing them lose control of Autostrade, as advocated by deputy ministers Stefano Buffagni and Giancarlo Cancelleri, is considered a fair balance by the M5S, which gathered its top management on the dossier last night. However, there are still distances between supply and demand.

The holding of the Benetton family has taken an approach step in the last few hours, opening up the sale of majority stakes, while until a few days ago it said it was willing to put only minority stakes on the plate. It currently holds 88% of Autostrade and after the dilution intervention it would drop below 50% (the Five stars would like 30%). But this transfer of shares, for Atlantia, must be preceded by some fundamental steps: the signing of an agreement on concessions; the overcoming of the Milleproroghe decree which caused the rating downgrading of the company; a few months of due diligence. Only then will they be able to put a slice of their shares on the market, in order to regain value and not sell off their assets. In other words, as sources in Atlantia let it be known, “it cannot be transformed into an expropriation operation”. Instead, this seems to be exactly the direction that the Five Stars would like to take. Not only. Another clarification comes from the Benettons: in the future dilution “large private, national or international groups could fall”. In short, from a publicly traded company, the industrial combination operation may not leadre automatically Cdp to take control.

The road leading away from the revocation, therefore, is still winding, although it is facilitated by the change of pace that was recorded between the previous management of Autostrade and the current one. However, it will take “a few more days”, let Palazzo Chigi know, to study the dossier. And above all, to bring the parties closer together.

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