February 11, 2020 / 9:04 PM / 14 days ago

Atlantia readies proposal to end standoff with Italy's govt - sources

MILAN, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Benetton-controlled Atlantia is offering to forego majority ownership of its highway unit under a proposal aimed at resolving a dispute with the Italian government over its motorway concession, two sources close to the matter said.

In exchange for cutting its 88% stake in its Autostrade per l’Italia unit, Atlantia is asking for reassurances from the government it will be allowed to keep the contract to run about half of Italy’s toll roads, the sources said.

The group also wants guarantees that any changes to the formula used to calculate tolls do not impair Atlantia’s ability to carry out investments by excessively curtailing revenues, one of the sources said.

Atlantia’s board has authorised the firm’s top executives who are in contact with the government to offer to lower the stake in Autostrade below 50% provided the conditions set by company are met, the two sources said.

Atlantia declined to comment.

Atlantia and the government have been locked in a bitter dispute over the potential early termination of the group’s motorway concession since a bridge operated by Autostrade collapsed, killing 43 people, in August 2018. (Reporting by Francesca Landini and Stephen Jewkes; editing by Valentina Za)

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