GENOA. Autostrade will present to the government, today with a letter that will leave around lunchtime, that “indispensable proposal” requested by Prime Minister Conte’s ultimatum to shelve the possibility of revoking the concession. It will be discussed in a pre-summit on Monday at the MIT and, if the agreement is reached, it will be brought to the Council of Ministers on Tuesday. The cornerstones: the general decline in tolls of 4 percent immediately, which will be gradually recovered over the years until the expiration of the 2038 concession, and the willingness to raise the figure to 3.4 billion to add to the 14.5 already announced for new investments. Aspi’s June offer was 3 billion.
On the day of the boards of directors (companies and shareholders) Atlantia, various sources confirm, is ready to drop below 50 percent of the company to make room for a state investor. But it will be two distinct phases. The mechanism hypothesized is that Aspi is the one to solicit the opportunity for a capital increase, the mechanism by which the Benettons will no longer be a majority in society.
The government has announced that it wants to close the dossier in a very short time. In a situation of mutual suspicion, deputy secretary Pd Andrea Orlando also intervened yesterday, “A little clarity. The Democratic Party is concerned that those who have harmed no longer harm, that there are guarantees on rates, investments, controls. If this is accomplished with the revocation or with a radical corporate structure, it is up to the government to say so on the basis of the technical analyzes which at this point should be more than enough ». A tranchant response to colleagues in government Cinquestelle, who had (not even lukewarmly) speculated that the dem attitude was too lukewarm and expected on the revocation: «The Democratic Party has never asked for postponements on this topic. The government decides the times and for us too much time has passed ».
Yesterday was the day of the double board of directors. That of Aspi in the morning. The one of Atlantia’s shareholders started at 14 and ended in the late afternoon. Autostrade is weakened by the ruling of the Constitutional Court (“right of exclusion from the reconstruction of the Genoa bridge”) but is not on the corner. The awareness is clear: “The revocation tout court is not practicable, besides us there is no one capable of managing 3,000 kilometers of highway network from one day to the next. It would be chaos ».
It is not convenient for anyone, however, to exacerbate the tones. Although Aspi holds two stakes still. The first: to pave the way for society to have access to credit, now closed. The second: find a reasonable balance, because a downward game could lead Autostrade to be worthless. At that point, no reasoning would be possible anymore.
Autostrade also puts other considerations on the plate. The tolls now blocked since January 2019. But above all, the drop in turnover for the Covid emergency has arrived, more than a billion losses, evaporated together with the collapse of the traffic of 30 for one hundred. Even the period after the coronavirus, the company’s technicians say, will not see a rapid return to the previous situation.
Again, the question introduced by the Milleproroghe decree, the reduction of any compensation for the termination of the concession from 23 to 7 billion. The company was unable to finance itself, lenders no longer feel guaranteed. Then four hours of Atlantia’s board of directors, maximum caution on the part of CEO Carlo Bertazzo: “We are working”. Not a word more. In the background, the indiscretion that the Australian fund Macquarie would be interested in playing a role in the game all focused on the action of Cassa Depositi e prestiti and F2i.