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Atlas Arteria stalls IFM's takeover plans

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Atlas Arteria has rejected IFM Investors’ request to access non-public information about the company for takeover purposes, with IFM now said to be "considering our position".

Instead, Atlas Arteria confirmed in an ASX listing that it has offered to provide IFM with the opportunity to meet with senior management to discuss “selected topics” on the basis of publicly available information.

“This is consistent with the company’s past practice in its dealing with large institutional security holders,” it said.

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It is not yet clear whether IFM will proceed with the planned takeover. Responding to an enquiry made by InvestorDaily, IFM Investors' spokesperson said “we are disappointed with the decision of the Atlas Arteria Board and we are considering our position.”

Last week, IFM Investors confirmed its acquisition of a 14.96 per cent stake in toll road operator Atlas Arteria via the IFM Global Infrastructure Fund (GIF).

“We have substantial experience investing in toll roads globally and we’re attracted to Atlas Arteria’s high-quality assets across France, Germany and the United States,” said IFM global head of infrastructure Kyle Mangini in a statement issued on Wednesday. 

“We see this as a great investment and one where returns that are generated can help boost the retirement savings of millions of superannuation and pension fund members, such as nurses, teachers, construction workers and hospitality staff.”

Acknowledging the acquisition, Atlas Arteria disclosed on Friday that it had received a subsequent request from IFM for access to certain confidential information, but that a proposal to acquire additional securities had not been made.

Atlas Arteria’s primary asset is a 31.14 per cent interest in France’s second largest toll road network, the 2,318 km-long APRR. 

The company’s share price surged by more than 15 per cent on Wednesday after reports of IFM’s new stake broke, before dipping slightly on Friday.

Owned by Australia’s industry super funds, IFM currently manages a total of $181 billion in assets, including $66 billion through the IFM GIF which has 21 portfolio investments in airports, seaports and toll roads along with energy, water and telecommunication assets.

As part of the Sydney Aviation Alliance consortium, IFM also led the $32 billion takeover of Sydney Airport which was completed in March.

The IFM GIF has about $14 billion of equity invested in toll roads which it said supported more than 370 million trips across the United States, Latin America, the United Kingdom and Europe each year.

 

Atlas Arteria stalls IFM's takeover plans

Atlas Arteria has rejected IFM Investors’ request to access non-public information about the company for takeover purposes, with IFM now said to be "considering our position".

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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja's career in journalism spans well over a decade across finance, business and politics. Now an experienced editor and reporter across all elements of the financial services sector, prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja reported for several established news outlets in Southeast Europe, scrutinising key processes in post-conflict societies.

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