Atlantia bid for Abertis/Hispasat can proceed

The Spanish government has approved a takeover bid of local infrastructure company Abertis, which controls Madrid-based satellite operator Hispasat. One bidder is Italian motorway operator Atlantia, although others are also interested in the Abertis assets.

It is not yet clear as to whether there will be Spanish conditions attached to any final bid because of the strategic importance of Hispasat, and certain capacity that has military implications.

A Spanish government spokesman made the approval statement on January 26th, saying the decision “allows Atlantia to enter the competition”.

Atlantia is bidding against Hochtief, the German arm of Spanish builder ACS, in a takeover battle for Abertis. Spain’s government has already approved Hochtief as a potential bidder.

“The approval of the transfer of Spanish toll roads by the government is a positive evolution in the process, although does not provide a cross reading to what will be decided regarding the Hispasat stake transfer nor how these situations may impact the bid for Abertis,” investment bank Caixabank/BPI said in a note to clients.

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