MILAN May 2 Managers at Italian motorway group
Atlantia and Spanish peer Abertis will meet
this week in Italy to discuss plans for a tie up, two sources
close to the matter said on Tuesday.
One of the sources said the meeting could be as early as
Wednesday, with a view to announcing a deal before the end of
Atlantia and Abertis declined to comment.
Atlantia, controlled by the Benetton family, confirmed last
week it was considering a deal with Abertis providing it was
friendly and created shareholder value.
A merger would create one of the biggest infrastructure
groups in Europe, with a market value of more than 35 billion
euros ($38 billion).
Sources have told Reuters Atlantia has tapped banks to
finance a cash-and-share bid for its rival.
The Atlantia offer could value Abertis at around 16 billion
euros, according to some analyst estimates, with the Italian
company paying about 11 billion euros in cash for a majority
Atlantia, which is looking to expand its foreign business,
agreed last week to sell 10 percent of its domestic motorway
unit for 1.48 billion euros.
($1 = 0.9169 euros)
(Reporting by Paola Arosio and Stefano Bernabei, writing by