Atlantia And ACS: From Enemies In Abertis To Possible Collaborators In The Takeover Bid

Atlantia and ACS can become collaborators in the acquisition of AbertisAtlantia and ACS can become collaborators in the acquisition of Abertis

Atlantia and ACS could cease to be rivals in their bid for Abertis and become collaborators in the acquisition. The two companies acknowledged they had had initial talks, as a result of which they would jointly buy Abertis and share out its assets.

It seems there is a consensus amongst analysts about the transaction: it makes sense, as it would avoid a bidding war which would push up the price, as well as allow the companies to focus on those assets which best fit in with their strategy.

Renta4 points out that in principle the news would be “positive” for ACS because it would not have to enter a war with a foreseeable financial cost. At the same time, the analysts flag the “negative aspect a priori for Abertis shareholders” as the rumoured prices of over 20 euros/share would not be reached.

For Bankinter, this new scenario also gives support to its recommendation to reduce positions in Abertis.

We began recommending reducing up to 20% of positions at prices over 19,5 euros, which we recently raised to 30-40%. With this news, we recommend to sell an additional 20% at around 19,5 euros.

The assets which might interest either of the two companies is not yet known, but the sale to a third party of Hispasat has indeed been talked about. Apart from the joint bid, there is the possibility that one of the bids goes ahead with a commitment to sell and share out the assets.

Ahead of the Stock Market Regulator (CNMV)’s approval of the bid from Hochtief (ACS), we will see what the final decision is, with the knowledge that the takeover law does not allow for an offer to be withdrawn once it has been made. So the floor in Abertis’ stock price is marked in principal by Hochtief’s 18,35 euros/share bid, a drop of 5.4% compared with Wednesday’s close.

Investors welcomed the news and ACS’ share price saw a rise of 7.75% yesterday. Meanwhile, those who were betting on a bidding war now see this possibility as being more distant and Abertis’ share price  fell 3.97%.



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The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.