Abertis: Fitch confirms BBB+rating, with stable outlook, while buying a further 22.52% of A4 Holding

Abertis

On May 2, Fitch confirmed its BBB+ rating with a stable outlook for Abertis. The main reasons put forward by the ratings agency are: (1) The recent acquisition of 100% of Sanef has increased the quality and duration of its portfolio. (2) Abertis has less debt than its competitors and has cut the duration of its recurrent debt. Furthermore, Fitch highlights that Abertis registered good results in 2016, based on recurrent cash flow generation. This policy, according to Fitch, will allow it to cover the duration of its debt until 2019. Abertis has also just informed the Stock Market Regulator (CNMV) of the agreement it has reached to acquire a further 22.52% of A4 Holding (with this additional stake it will own 85.36%) for €125 million. Of this total amount, €36 million will be paid at the end of January 2018 and the rest in July 2017. The price represents a 10% discount on that paid by Abertis for its original 51.4% stake, meaning an improvement on the IRR.

For analysts at Bankinter, the favourable outcome of this review by Fitch is “very positive”for Abertis, currently involved in the acquisition of Italy’s AtlantiaThis acknowledgement of the company’s quality could increase its price in any likely purchase.

We believe the premium offered should be at least 10% (around €17,4). This would imply paying a PER’17e of 17,9x and PER’18e of 16,9x. This is the short-term attraction for Abertis shareholders, whom we recommend remain in the stock until any outcome. Regarding the new acquisition in Italy, we value it positively as it implies greater control of its assets as well as increasing their quality in terms of any valuation. This acquisition values 100% of A4 Holding at approximately €555 million.