Top investor NAF raises offer for Italian motorway group ASTM

MILAN (Reuters) – The top investor in ASTM raised its bid offer for the Italian motorway group by around 150 million euros ($182.45 million) in an effort to secure backing for plans to take the company private and implement a broad overhaul.

Nuova Argo Finanziaria (NAF), the group’s top investor with a 43% stake, said on late Friday it is ready to pay 28 euros per ASTM share, or 1.85 billion euros, to buy an additional 46.92% stake in the company.

In February, NAF had announced an offer of 25.6 euros per share, or 1.7 billion euros.

The new price represents a 40.8% premium over ASTM’s official close on Feb. 19, the day the offer was announced, NAF said in a statement.

As of May 7, less than one third of the shares covered by the offer were tendered.

As a result of the decision to raise the bid price, the acceptance period was extended by 10 trading days to May 24.

The new price “is final and definitive”, NAF said.

NAF is controlled by the Gavio family’s holding company Aurelia with a 60% stake. French investment firm Ardian holds the remaining 40%.

($1 = 0.8222 euros)

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