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Blackstone-backed Italian infrastructure group Mundys weighs India expansion

By Reuters

  • 07 Dec 2023
Blackstone-backed Italian infrastructure group Mundys weighs India expansion
Credit: Pexels

Italian infrastructure group Mundys aims to strengthen its toll roads presence in the United States, Chile and Europe and is exploring expansion in India and Australia, its CEO said.

Mundys, which is controlled by the Benetton family's holding company Edizione and was previously known as Atlantia, operates motorways, mainly through Spanish toll road group Abertis, and also runs airports.

It has just acquired Autovia del Camino in northern Spain and won a tender to operate four new toll roads in Puerto Rico with a $2.85 billion bid.

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Mundys, in which U.S. investment fund Blackstone has a minority stake, is now looking at the potential for Australia and India, although it has not yet decided what to do in those markets where it has minimal exposure.

"We are still evaluating (Australia and India), the final decision is not obvious," Andrea Mangoni told Reuters in his first interview since becoming Mundys CEO in April.

Mundys is also keen to expand in airports, where it already controls Rome's Fiumicino and Ciampino, as well as Aeroports de la Côte d'Azur, which has three airports in the south of France.

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"We aim to have a more balanced portfolio on the airport front," he said of the group, whose toll road revenues are roughly five times what it generates from airports.

The group expects that the number of passengers in airports will attain 2019 levels next year, the Mundys CEO said, after growing more than 31.4% in the first 10 months of 2023.

Profitability

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Traffic on toll roads was 3.1% higher in the first 10 months and should show a similar increase next year, Mangoni said.

Mangoni also said that Mundys' 15% stake in Getlink, the operator of the Channel Tunnel linking France and Britain, is an important asset and is not going to sell it.

He said that the group sold AB Concessoes in Brazil in November with a view to optimising profitability, but the South American country is still important for the group.

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"We don't want to have assets that dilute our profitability in the portfolio," he said.

Total revenues at Mundys rose by 21% to 6.5 billion euros in the first nine months of this year, while core profit was up 15% in the same period to 3.8 billion euros, driven by traffic and average tariff increase of 8% linked to inflation adjustments.

Its net financial debt stood at around 28 billion euros.

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