Abertis has reached an agreement to acquire an additional stake from Predica (a Crédit Agricole Assurances subsidiary) in Holding d’Infraestructures de Transport (HIT), the company which controls 100% of Sanef, of at least 15% and up to 17%, depending on the preemption rights from remaining minority shareholders.
This transaction will imply a cash out for Abertis of at least €700 million (US$751 million) and up to €800 million (US$858.9 million), depending on the final acquisition level. The deal is expected to be closed in the next weeks.
Sanef 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.
At the same time, Abertis has closed the acquisition of a 9.65% stake in HIT from AXA République for €450 million (US$483 million), announced on 1 March. Last January, Abertis also bought a 10.52% stake from Caisse des Dépots et Consignations (CDC) for €491 million (US$527 million).
After these deals and the closing of the acquisition from Predica, Abertis’ stake in Sanef will increase to near 90%, for a total amount of €1.64 billion (US$1.76 billion).
In financial terms, and given that HIT is already fully consolidated in Abertis’ accounts, the main impact of the transaction will be on net profit, which will increase by minimum €45 million in the company's 2017 accounts, depending on the final acquisition level. Net debt in Abertis will rise by the final acquisition amount.
In addition, this deal will increase the company’s average portfolio duration and will provide a greater dividend stream from France, contributing to offset other concessions expiries over the coming years.