Activist TCI lodges complaint against Italy with European Commission over Atlantia

Activist hedge fund TCI Fund Management said it has submitted a complaint to the European Commission over "illegitimate expropriation" by the Italian government of Atlantia's motorways unit Autostrade per l’Italia.

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LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) - Activist hedge fund TCI Fund Management said it has submitted a complaint to the European Commission over "illegitimate expropriation" by the Italian government of Atlantia's motorways unit Autostrade per l’Italia.

TCI, an investor in Atlantia, said in its complaint that Italy's order that Atlantia sell down its stake in Autostrade "seriously threatened the fundamental principles of the EU Capital Market Union".

Autostrade's future has been in question ever since a motorway bridge it operated in the northern city of Genoa collapsed in 2018, killing 43 people.

The disaster exposed a record of management failure and fuelled heavy political pressure to strip the motorway concession from the powerful Benetton family that control Atlantia.

After months of dispute, the government reached a compromise this month that left Autostrade with the concession but forced Atlantia to hand over control of its stake to state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti and allied investors.

In a separate letter sent to the Italian Treasury on Wednesday, TCI said the government's actions have caused "significant losses" to international investors.

"The Italian government has repeatedly violated the principles of legal certainty, legitimate expectations and proportionality which are all key pillars of the Italian Constitution and the European Union," said the letter seen by Reuters.

TCI said in an earlier letter to the Treasury on Monday that the government had violated the principles of legal certainty and proportionality in its handling of Atlantia. (Reporting by Maiya Keidan in London, additional reporting by James Mackenzie in Milan Editing by Rachel Armstrong) ((Maiya.Keidan@thomsonreuters.com; 44 207 542 1594; Reuters Messaging: maiya.keidan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: HEDGEFUNDS TCI/ATLANTIA (UPDATE 1)

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