IFM Investors has ended discussions with Atlas Arteria (ALX) after previously indicating that it was considering a takeover of the toll road operator.
In June, IFM disclosed that it had acquired a 14.96 per cent stake in Atlas Arteria via its Global Infrastructure Fund (GIF) and requested access to certain limited company information in order to help it decide whether to proceed with a non-binding indicative takeover proposal.
While this request was rejected by Atlas Arteria, the company offered to arrange a meeting between its senior management and IFM GIF to discuss selected topics based on publicly available information.
In a statement released on Thursday, IFM confirmed that representatives from the IFM Global Infrastructure Fund (GIF) met with Atlas Arteria senior management on 17 June and 6 July, and another meeting was also held between the parties on 20 July.
“Following those meetings, IFM Investors confirms that IFM GIF is not presently in a position to meaningfully progress a proposal with ALX and has determined to cease discussions with ALX,” IFM said in a statement.
“However, it reserves the right to recommence discussions with ALX in the future.
Atlas Arteria earlier this week issued a statement to the ASX that said it was yet to receive any proposal from IFM in relation to a potential acquisition.
“ALX believes it has addressed IFM’s information requests, other than where doing so would require disclosure of material ALX confidential information,” it said on Monday.
Atlas Arteria’s share price fell by more than 6 per cent following the announcement on Thursday.
The company’s primary asset is a 31.14 per cent interest in the second largest toll road network in France, the 2,318 km-long APRR.
When announcing IFM’s 14.96 per cent stake in Atlas Arteria last month, the fund manager’s global head of infrastructure, Kyle Mangini, said IFM had been attracted to Atlas Arteria’s “high-quality assets” across France, Germany and the US.
“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,” he said at the time.
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.