Jul 17, 2015
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Italian railways to launch sale of shops business in August

Jul 17, 2015

Italy's state railway Ferrovie dello Stato will in August launch the sale of a business that runs shops and restaurants at big train stations in Italy and the Czech Republic, sources close to the matter said on Friday, a deal that could fetch 800 million euros ($868 million).

Grandi Stazioni Retail will be carved out from Ferrovie affiliate Grandi Stazioni next month, paving the way for the sale, and could be valued at between 600 million and 800 million euros including debt, the sources said.

The Italian brand owns a stake in Grandi Stazioni Retail - Benetton

The disposal is part of a privatisation drive by the Italian government, which is seeking to rein in debt which in May reached a record high of 2.2 trillion euros.

The state also wants to sell a stake in wholly-owned Ferrovie next year and is gearing up to shed up to 40 percent of the national post office.

The carve-out will leave Ferrovie with more than 50 percent of Grandi Stazioni Retail, while the remainder will be held by Italy's Benetton family, tyre maker Pirelli, France's railway company SNCF and builder Vianini Lavori, the sources said.

These investors aim to sell 100 percent of the company.

Consulting firm McKinsey and investment bank Rothschild are the industrial and financial advisor for the sale. They aim to get expressions of interests by mid-September, the sources said.

Private equity groups and sovereign funds are interested in infrastructure assets in Italy and could be among prospective buyers of Grandi Stazioni Retail, according to sources. ($1 = 0.9214 euros)


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