A disaster leaves a European infrastructure giant on edge

PROSECUTORS are still investigating what caused Genoa’s Morandi bridge to collapse on August 14th, killing 43 people. Autostrade per l’Italia, the company which manages the bridge—as well as half of Italy’s toll roads—has until early September to prove that it had performed proper maintenance. If it misses the deadline, it could lose all its road concessions in the country.

The disaster has left Atlantia—the holding company which owns Autostrade—in a precarious position. Its share price is down by 27% since the collapse. The loss of the Italian concessions would clobber its bottom line. In the first half of 2018 Autostrade accounted for almost two-thirds of Atlantia’s profits of €1.7bn ($2.1bn).

The state sold Autostrade in 1999, to an entity that later became Atlantia, at a time when Italy was intent on reducing its public debt, a condition for entering the euro zone. In the years since, Atlantia’s shares have greatly outperformed Italy’s sleepy stockmarket. Healthy returns...



via Business Feeds

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