Autostrade, Atlantia blackmails the government for state guarantees: “Without loan stop 14.5 billion of investments. Ready for legal action”

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Freezing of the 14.5 billion of investments, apart from 900 million for the safety, and the notice of being ready to sue At the state. And again: a harsh attack on the norm of Milleproroghe decree that ‘deletes’ the criminal to be paid to dealers in case of revocation for failure and to Deputy Minister Stefano Buffagni who anticipated a “no thanks” to the request of the state guarantee on a loan from 1.2 billion euros to support the accounts in full swingCoronavirus emergency. The holding company Atlantia, controlled by Benetton and ‘mistress’ of Highways, set the stage for a new one head-on collision with the government in the battle opened since collapse of the Morandi bridge on August 14, 2018. To read between the lines of the press release, in which we talk about “serious damage” and we can glimpse the liquidity crisis, thelast blackmail it is precisely on the billionaire state guarantee given the collapse of traffic due to Covid-19: in case of no, investments will be canceled. Not only that: the company also announces aimpending legal action to protect yourself.

Atlantia has summoned a board of directors extraordinary to analyze the situation of Autostrade and the position at the end of the meeting is clear. We start by criticizing the lack of answers “to formal proposal sent “by Autostrade to Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport on March 5, “in order to find one shared solution in relation to the dispute in progress for almost two years now “. In short, the holding says it has reached out to the dawn of the Covid-19 emergency and to remain in a “Situation of uncertainty” despite having “authoritative representatives of the executive publicly expressed, since last Februaryyour own availability to evaluate the proposals “which amount to 14.5 billion of investments, including 2.9 as compensation for Morandi, a reduction in rates for the commuters and the reconstruction of the bridge. Meanwhile, Atlantia is still attacking, Minister Paola De Micheli “said the incident conclusion of the analysis of the dossier “which could lead to the revocation of the concession.

The two years of battle, theuncertainty on the revocation and the preparatory moves of the government, is the reading of Autostrade, they have “determined serious damage to the entire group “and generated” concern on the market and all stakeholders “. To annoy Atlantia, who would like the second highest maxi-warranty after i 6.3 billion asked by Fca, is in particular thearticle 35 of the Milleproroghe decree which eliminated the penalties to be paid to dealers in case of revocation for breach, in which case the collapse of the Morandi bridge and what is emerging from the investigations of the Genoa prosecutor: those changes, according to the Benetton holding company, ended up distorting the “reference framework” for the investors and the banks and “have determined the rating downgrade ” from Moody’s last January 3.

And so it has become, writes Atlantia, “access to financial markets is particularly difficult” and one was generated “Serious financial strain” which was “aggravated also by the heavy effects of the pandemic”. In front of which, still holds the holding that controls Autostrade, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti it also refused to “in early April” a line of financing from 200 million “Also in reason” of the Milleproroghe despite having been “defined” as early as 2017 and remain “to today unused 1.3 billion of Euro”.

The traffic on the network managed by Autostrade, in the lockdown period, continues Atlantia, “has undergone a collapse with maximum peaks of80%, generating one loss of revenue estimated in over 1 billion euros for 2020 only “. And in short, it is the reasoning in this scenario, the guaranteed loan is essential for not having to cut jobs. In the face of indiscretions, the Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Stefano Buffagni, had already said “no thanks”. And the holding attacks him by branding his answer like “Contrasting” with the spirit of Revival decree and “rather based on widely assessments and criteria discretionary and subjective “.

“All this causes damage for Atlantia and its subsidiaries. So it becomes impossible for society – which must protect 31,000 employees of which 13,500 in Italy in addition to related activities, respond to their creditors, bondholders and to its commercial counterparts, as well as to more than 40,000 national and international shareholders – do not consider taking actions to protect their interests “, is the notice of the board of directors of Atlantia which therefore decided to stop investments, except for 900 millions to “guarantee maintenance and investments for the security “of the network and gave mandate” to its own Legal to evaluate all the necessary initiatives for the protection of society and the group, given the serious damage “.

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