DLA Piper gets in lane for €16.3bn European motorway operator bid

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DLA Piper and Italian law firm Gianni Origoni Grippo Cappelli & Partners are advising on infrastructure company Atlantia’s €16.3bn (£13.8bn) bid for Spanish rival Abertis.

Both Atlantia and Abertis specialise in operating toll roads, and the combination would create the world’s biggest operator of toll roads. Atlantia is a holding company that owns Autostrade per l’Italia, which operates more than 5,000km of toll roads around the world.

Abertis runs more than 8,000km of motorways in Europe and America. The offer is an all-cash bid of €16.50 (£14) a share.

DLA Piper is providing Spanish and international legal advice to Atlantia, fielding a team led by DLA corporate partner and Madrid senior partner Inigo Gomez-Jordana, with Italy’s Gianni Origoni also advising Atlantia, with a team led by corporate and M&A partner Francesco Gianni.

Abertis currently does not have a legal adviser, as negotiations have not yet formally started.

Firms to have previously advised the company include Clifford Chance (CC), Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Ashurst. In 2015, CC took a role on the disposal of part of its airport portfolio, while last year Ashurst led on the €948m (£804m) acquisition a 50% interest in Chile’s Autopista Central toll road.