Blackstone Group Inc. is exploring a bid for Italian infrastructure company Atlantia SpA, according to people with knowledge of the matter, raising the prospect of a potential bidding war with Spanish construction tycoon Florentino Perez.
The U.S. private equity giant is in discussions to team up with Italy’s billionaire Benetton family, which already owns 33% of Atlantia, to take the company private, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the details aren’t public. Shares of Atlantia jumped as much as 9% Wednesday after Bloomberg News reported that Perez is weighing a bid for the 15.7 billion-euro ($17.1 billion) company.
The Benetton clan recently increased its grip on Atlantia by boosting its stake after the 8 billion-euro sale of the company’s Italian highway-toll unit, Autostrade, last year. That means any takeover would be difficult without the agreement of the Benetton family. A deal could also draw scrutiny from the Italian government.
Read more: BNN Bloomberg
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