Consortium pushes ahead with Abertis buy-out
Abertis’ majority shareholders Criteria and ACS, and private equity firm CVC Partners, are close to securing EUR5.3 billion (USD6.7 billion) in financing for a leveraged buy-out of the Spanish infrastructure corporation (The Financial Times, 07-Jul-2010). The funding will be used primarily to buy out minor shareholders, which control approximately 45% of Abertis’ equity. Catalan bank La Caixa, which holds 28.5% of the equity through its Criteria Holding Group, is expected to remain the largest shareholder, followed by CVC Partners after its estimated EUR1 billion capital injection. ACS is expected to reduce its 25.8% stake and use the proceeds to refinance debt. ACS, La Caixa and CVC are to create a holding vehicle, which will prepare a tender to minority shareholders priced at EUR16 per share, a EUR2 premium over the current share price of EUR14. This would give Abertis a total equity value of approximately EUR12 billion.