Meetings have recently taken place between the toll road operator and fund manager.
In a statement to the ASX on Monday, Atlas Arteria (ALX) confirmed that it has yet to receive any proposal from IFM Investors in relation to a potential acquisition.
IFM announced in June that it had acquired a 14.96 per cent stake in Atlas Arteria and requested access to non-public and confidential information about the company to decide whether to proceed with a non-binding indicative takeover proposal.
This request was subsequently rejected by Atlas Arteria, which then offered to provide IFM with the opportunity to meet with its senior management to discuss “selected topics” on the basis of publicly available information.
“Atlas Arteria confirms that ALX senior management has had two meetings with IFM representatives to discuss and share information requested by IFM,” the company said on Monday.
“ALX believes it has addressed IFM’s information requests, other than where doing so would require disclosure of material ALX confidential information.”
In addition to confirming it has not yet received a formal takeover bid, Atlas Arteria also sought to clarify IFM’s security holding as part of its latest ASX release.
A notice of initial substantial holder lodged by Diamond Infraco on behalf of itself and IFM Group last month stated that IFM had a relevant interest of 9.99 per cent and an economic interest of 4.97 per cent in the company.
This lodging also indicated that IFM had entered into derivative instruments and collar transactions with Nomura International which contributed to the fund manager's holding.
“ALX has taken a number of steps to better understand the IFM Group’s and Nomura’s ownership of ALX securities and the nature of various derivative instruments and collar transactions to endeavour to ensure that security holders are properly informed,” said Atlas Arteria.
According to tracing conducted by Atlas Arteria, as of 21 July, Diamond InfraCo owned 7.45 per cent, IFM owned 1.28 per cent and Nomura and its related entities owned 0.10 per cent.
“Based on the tracing process, the IFM Group currently owns 8.72 per cent of ALX’s issued capital and IFM Group and Nomura in aggregate own 8.83 per cent,” the company said.
Atlas Arteria said it has also written to IFM to seek clarity on the arrangements described in its substantial holding notice.
In its original announcement, IFM said that it had been attracted to Atlas Arteria’s “high-quality assets” in France, Germany and the US which include a 31.14 per cent interest in France’s second largest toll road network, APRR.
“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,” IFM global head of infrastructure Kyle Mangini said in June.
Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.
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