April 13, 2018

Italo sale to GIP passes EC muster

The European Commission (EC) has approved the acquisition of Italian train operator Italo by US investment fund Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).

The deal would not raise competition concerns because the companies are not active in the same market or in vertically related markets, according to the the EU regulator.

The target company is Italy’s first privately owned high-speed rail passenger transport operator.

Founded in 2006, Italo has a fleet of more than 40 trains and performs 68 trips per day, serving 19 rail stations.

The Italian train operator inked an agreement to sell itself to the US investor for €1.98 billion ($2.43 billion) in February, abandoning plans to list up to 40% of share capital on the Italian stock exchange.

The purchase proposal implies an equity value of €1.94 billion for the entire share capital of the target and provides for current shareholders to receive dividends of a combined €30 million.

The offer also includes repayment of costs up to €10 million related to the interrupted listing process.