Autostrade, the government’s decision on the dealership in the coming days: revocation or cut of tariffs and entry of CDP on the table


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There revocation or looking for a agreement that brings the holding of the Benetton to sell the majority stake to Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and some Italian funds. There is still no definitive decision but the dossier Highways it could reach the finish line in the next few days. In the morning the prime minister Giuseppe Conte the Minister of Economy gathered in Palazzo Chigi Roberto Gualtieri, the owner of Transport Paola De Micheli and the heads of delegation of the majority parties. The meeting was not conclusive, but in the next few days a new summit could put an end to the push and pull started in the aftermath of the collapse of the Genoa bridge.

“Some in-depth analyzes will be completed which will allow defining the government’s ultimate position”, filters in the evening from Palazzo Chigi. The hypothesis of revocation of concessions to Atlantia, always preached by M5S, but the prices of this possible solution decrease more and more with the passing of the hours. The opposition of Pd is Italy alive, but also the legal dispute that would result from it worries Conte. Precisely by leveraging this aspect, the premier could try to involve the pentastellates on ‘Plan B’: one revision of the concession, which starts from the precondition of lower tolls and strengthen investments, and combine at the end of the era Benetton as a majority shareholder.

Atlantia, which today has approximately 88% of Autostrade, would sell a significant share to a newco formed by cDP, F2i, together with foundations and social security funds. Still nothing is decided. The M5S insists on the revocation but also the deputy minister for Transport Giancarlo Cancelleri he admits that it is “a government also made by other political forces and we must take one step towards the other”. For Matteo Renzi the withdrawal of concessions remains a “madness”. The Iv leader “calls” the pentastellati: “A step back from the Benettons and a step forward from the Italian institutional funds could be the turning point”. To Crimi, Bonafede and companions the task of keeping the Movement in such a delicate passage.

In recent days the board of directors of Atlantia has hinted that it is ready to take legal action in case of termination of the contract and speaks of “serious damage” suffered in the ability to financing on the market after rating cut. One consequence, claims the company that also requested a secured loan from the state from 1.2 billion euros, of the introduction ofarticle 35 in Milleproroghe decree last December which eliminated the penalties in case of revocation for failure of the dealer, a case in which the collapse of Morandi would fall, at least according to the first preliminary findings of the investigation conducted by the Genoa prosecutor which also raises the hypothesis of a more general bad one maintenance of different network infrastructures.

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