Autogrill launches £193m takeover of Alpha Airports

04 June 2007 by
Autogrill launches £193m takeover of Alpha Airports

Italian roadside services group Autogrill has made a formal offer for in-flight caterer and airport retailer Alpha Airports, valuing the company at more than £193m.

Following the purchase of 22,544,511 shares earlier today with the consent of Alpha's board of directors, Autogrill now has a shareholding in the company of approximately 43%.

The offer for the remaining shares values each at 110p and the company at £193.6m.

This represents a premium of more than 58% over the closing price of 69.5p on the 29 May, the last business day before Autogrill said it was reviewing its options in regards to Alpha and may make a bid.

Autogrill chief executive Gianmario Tondato said of the takeover offer: "Autogrill places significant importance on the UK and sees Alpha Airports as the right player to gain a meaningful exposure to this attractive market."

Martin Flower, chairman of Alpha, said the deal would allow the company to develop on a truly global scale.

The Italian roadside group has also entered into a non-binding agreement with Servair, which grants it exclusivity over the company's remaining 9.1% share holding in Alpha until 11 June.

Autogrill made an unsuccessful approach for Compass Group's SSP travel concession business, which went to private equity firm EQT.

By Chris Druce

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