Tagus Bid for Full Control Boosted by Abertis’s Disposal

Tagus Holdings Sarl’s bid to buy full control of Brisa-Auto Estradas de Portugal SA became more likely to succeed after Abertis (ABE) Infraestructuras SA said it will sell its 15 percent equity holding in the toll-road operator.

The disposal of Abertis’s entire stake in Brisa will generate 312 million euros ($386 million) in cash flow and contribute 97 million euros to second-half profit, the Barcelona, Spain-based company said in a regulatory filing. The stock-tendering period for the Brisa bid ends today.

Tagus, a venture formed by Brisa’s two biggest shareholders, offered 2.76 euros a share in July for the Portuguese highway operator, which is based in the Lisbon suburb of Sao Domingos de Rana. Abertis, Brisa’s third-largest investor with 16 percent of the voting rights, had criticized Tagus’s initial bid in March of 2.66 euros a share as inadequate.

“As no competing offer emerged, most investors simply had to settle for the Tagus offer price,” said Pedro Oliveira, a trader at Go Bulling in Lisbon. “Brisa is trading very close to the offer price, indicating most investors are accepting the bid as final.”

The Spanish toll-road operator’s acceptance is crucial for Tagus to obtain the 90 percent voting control of Brisa that would enable the owners to de-list the toll-road company under Portuguese market rules. Tagus’s partners, family-owned holding company Jose de Mello SGPS SA and London-based Arcus Infrastructure Partners LLP, already own a combined 49.6 percent in Brisa’s equity and 53.8 percent of the voting rights.

Analysts including Elodie Rall at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) predict most minority investors will accept the Tagus offer. The bid values Brisa at 1.66 billion euros. Results of the tender are scheduled to be announced at 5 p.m. tomorrow, Paula Cordeiro, a spokeswoman for the NYSE Euronext Lisbon exchange, said yesterday.

To contact the reporters on this story: Henrique Almeida in Lisbon at halmeida5@bloomberg.net; Ben Sills in Madrid at bsills@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net

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