| LONDON, April 27
LONDON, April 27 Italian toll-road operator
Atlantia has tapped a consortium of banks to finance an
upcoming cash-and-share bid for Spanish rival Abertis,
sources close to the matter told Reuters, as it seeks to create
an industry giant with a market value of more than 35 billion
euros ($38.17 billion).
Atlantia said last week it was interested in reaching an
agreement to acquire Abertis, but the Spanish infrastructure
group's Chief Financial Officer Jose Aljaro said on Wednesday
that it had not yet received any concrete bids.
Atlantia's advisers Credit Suisse and Mediobanca
and Abertis' adviser Citi have committed to
provide financing for the transaction with a formal bid expected
to be announced as soon as next week, the sources said.
The pool of financing banks will also include Italian
lenders UniCredit and Intesa Sanpaolo MI> and
France's BNP Paribas, the sources said.
The overall financing package is estimated to be worth more
than 10 billion euros, two of the sources said.
Atlantia is set to hold a board meeting on Thursday and may
give the green light to a formal bid for Abertis, another source
said, cautioning no deal was certain.
Spokesmen at Abertis, Mediobanca, Intesa and Credit Suisse
declined to comment while Atlantia, UniCredit, Citi and BNP were
not immediately available.
($1 = 0.9169 euros)
(Additional reporting by Francesca Landini in Milan, Stefano
Bernabei in Rome and Robert Hetz and Andres Gonzalez in Madrid;
Editing by Rachel Armstrong)