Autostrade, the situation becomes more complicated. We are moving towards a tariff increase in 2021

The Autostrade affair is by no means closed. After two weeks of silence, in which the agreement between the government and Benetton for the exit of the family with the entry of Cdp seemed like something done, now a turning point arrives, the market has rebelled. To organize the rebellion – reads in the press – it did not take much. Because the highway network belongs to the state, but the companies that have managed them so far (Atlantia and Aspi) are not. Not only that: neither is fully controlled by the Benettons. In both there are shareholders from all corners of the world: English, French, Chinese, German, Dutch, Asian. At the head of the protest is the Tci fund, a London hedge that manages $ 35 billion.

In the eyes of the government, the protest seemed manageable, now the matter is getting more serious. It all happens on a Sunday in late July, the favorite moments for the blitz. Cdp, the subject that should return the motorways to the state, reveals the draft agreement sent to the Benettons to renounce control of Aspi: a dedicated capital increase thanks to which to buy 33%. Cdp makes it known that this would be the most transparent way to honor a decision that does not have much to do with the market (see above). The problem is that the proposal does not follow what was decided at Palazzo Chigi, namely the split of a part of the shares of Atlantia and the subsequent listing of Aspi.

The solution proposed by Cdp is a rip off for minority shareholders, Atlantia and Aspi. Hence – La Stampa continues – the ICT protest, which after presenting a complaint to the European Commission now threatens legal action in Italy. But to imagine that this is in itself sufficient to bring down the cost at the toll booth is a pious illusion: everything will depend on traffic and investments. Transport Minister Paola de Micheli was most honest this week in the hearing: she said tariffs “will not increase in 2020”, except to admit that they could increase from next year with a maximum ceiling of 1.75 percent.