Italian motorway companies ASTM, SIAS agree to merge

Italian motorway infrastructure companies ASTM and SIAS said on Thursday they had agreed to merge in an effort to streamline operations and make them more competitive.

Corrects para 5 to show capital owned by Nuovo Argo after merger will be 40.56% (and not 43.598%

MILAN, June 13 (Reuters) - Italian motorway infrastructure companies ASTM ATMI.MI and SIAS SIS.MI said on Thursday they had agreed to merge in an effort to streamline operations and make them more competitive.

ASTM, which currently holds 63.4% of SIAS, is 58.8% owned by Nuova Argo Finanziaria, a holding company which is owned by private equity Ardian and Italy's Gavio group.

As part of the deal, ASTM will launch a takeover bid for 5% of SIAS capital at 17.5 euros a share.

SIAS shares closed at 17.23 euros on Thursday.

At the end of the merger operation, and if the takeover bid is successful, Nuova Argo Finanziaria will own 40.56% of the new group's capital.

ASTM was advised by JP Morgan and UniCredit while SIAS was advised by Mediobanca

(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; editing by David Evans)

((stephen.jewkes@thomsonreuters.com; +39.0266129695; Reuters Messaging: stephen.jewkes.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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