23 Jan 2017

Abertis increases its control stake in French subsidiary Sanef to 63.07%

Abertis increases its control stake in French subsidiary Sanef to 63.07%

  • Abertis will exercise its preferential acquisition rights for the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations’ (CDC) stake in Holding d’Infrastructures de Transports (HIT), which controls 100% of Sanef.
  • The deal values HIT’s equity at €4,666Mn and will add €30Mn to the Group’s Net profit in 2017.
  • Abertis reinforces its growth strategy in France, a robust economy, with a stable concessional framework and a clear commitment to the public-private partnerships, offering big opportunities for the value creation.

Abertis has decided to exercise its preferential acquisition rights for the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations’ (CDC) stake in Holding d’Infrastructures de Transports (HIT) which controls 100% of Sanef.

The acquisition will allow Abertis to increase its stake in HIT from the current 52.55% stake to 63.07% (up 10.52.p.p.), after taking into account the shareholders’ agreement. Based on the above, the cash outflow for Abertis will amount to €491Mn. Closing of the acquisition, which values HIT’s equity at €4,666Mn, is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2017.

In financial terms, and given that HIT is already fully consolidated in Abertis’ accounts, the main P&L impact will be generated at the Net Profit level with an accretion of around €30Mn in 2017. Net Debt at Abertis will increase by €491Mn, the equivalent of the cash outflow.

Through this transaction, Abertis reinforces its growth strategy in robust economies, with stable concessions frameworks and a clear commitment to the public-private partnerships in the toll road sector. In this sense, France offers big opportunities of value creation through future partnerships with the government as shown in previous capex for years and capex for tariffs agreements (Paquet Vert, Plan Relance).

The acquisition also demonstrates the company’s ability to deliver growth within its existing asset base with financial discipline, while at the same time lowering its operational risk profile, and rebalancing its global portfolio by increasing the weight of developed markets where it already operates with a long successful track record.

Finally, this operation increases the company’s average portfolio duration and provides it with access to a greater dividend stream from France that will contribute to offset concession expiries over the coming years.

Abertis in France

Abertis has operations in France since 2006 through HIT, which controls 100% of Sanef. The subsidiary directly operates more than 1,760 km of toll roads in the northwest of France, Normandie and Aquitaine, representing the 22% of the country's total toll roads network. Sanef manages five of the seven access routes to Île-de-France (Paris region) and so the traffic routes connecting Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg to the north of France and the United Kingdom.

France is Abertis’ biggest market. The business in France generated €1,243Mn in revenues (35% of the Group’s total) and €837Mn in EBITDA (35%) in the first nine months of 2016.

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