Spanish Government Approves Atlantia's Abertis Bid

The Spanish government has given approval to Atlantia SpA (ATL.MI) to proceed with its takeover bid for Abertis Infraestructuras SA (ABE.MC), spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo said at a press conference Friday.

Atlantia's bid, which values Abertis at 16.3 billion euros ($20.26 billion), received approval from the Spanish market regulator, the CNMV, in October.

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However, the Spanish ministry of public works and ministry of energy later said that Atlantia was legally obliged to seek their approval separately, and that the CNMV shouldn't have approved the deal without its prior consent.

The government has reportedly put pressure on Abertis shareholders to accept a rival EUR18.6 billion bid from Germany's Hochtief AG (HOT.XE), which is owned by Spanish construction company Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA (ACS.MC).

Atlantia has previously said it will consider raising its offer once the Hochtief bid receives approval from Spanish and EU regulators.

Write to Nathan Allen at nathan.allen@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 26, 2018 08:18 ET (13:18 GMT)