Italian, Spanish firms seek to create infrastructure giant

Spain's Abertis transport infrastructure group says it is the target of a friendly takeover bid by Italian company Atlantia that values the Spanish firm at 16.4 billion euros ($18 billion).

The Rome-based company says the takeover aims to create a world leader in transport infrastructure management, with annual earnings before deductions of 6.6 billion euros.

Abertis Infraestructuras S.A. said in a statement to the Madrid stock exchange Monday that Atlantia is offering 16.5 euros per share. The two companies have long considered joining forces.

Atlantia S.p.A. said its bid is conditional on securing at least 50 percent plus one of Abertis' total issued shares.

Abertis shares were 0.11 euros down in late morning trading in Madrid, at 16.34 euros.