* Takeover would be friendly, cash-and-shares offer
(adds Atlantia, Abertis statements, details)
By Carlos Ruano
MADRID, April 18 Italian toll-road company
Atlantia is looking at the possibility of making a bid
for Spanish rival Abertis in a deal that would create
an industry giant with a market value of more than 35 billion
euros ($37 billion), a source close to the matter said on
The takeover would be friendly and would likely involve a
cash-and-share offer, the source said.
Atlantia, 30 percent controlled by the Benetton family, said
in a statement it had expressed to Abertis a generic and
preliminary interest in assessing "common projects", adding it
had made no commitment and no plans had been submitted to its
own board of directors. It gave no further details.
In a separate statement, Abertis said the terms of any
transaction had not been established.
The two companies had agreed a merger in 2006 but the deal
fell apart in the face of opposition from the Italian
Atlantia, whose shares fell 3.8 percent after Bloomberg
first reported that it was considering a bid for Abertis, has a
market value of just under 20 billion euros and in 2016 booked
revenues of 5.5 billion euros.
The Spanish group has a capitalisation of 15.5 billion euros
and sales last year totalled 4.9 billion euros.
Atlantia last year said it wanted to increase the share of
core earnings generated abroad to 50 percent by 2020 from 25
percent at present.
As part of this strategy it is looking to sell a stake of
around 15 percent in its Italian motorway division ASPI.
Analysts have extimated that Atlantia, which is ASPI's sole
owner, could bag around 2.5 billion euros from the sale.
Abertis's main shareholder is holding company Criteria
Caixa, which also controls Caixabank.
($1 = 0.9349 euros)
(Writing by Silvia Aloisi; Editing by Greg Mahlich)