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Group led by French Antin to buy Grandi Stazioni Retail for $1 bln: Reuters

Italian investor Borletti Group, asset manager Icamap and specialist French fund Antin Infrastructures made a successful bid to buy Italy’s Grandi Stazioni Retail for 953 million euros ($1.09 billion), a statement by the group said on Wednesday.

The privatisation of Grandi Stazioni Retail, which leases commercial space at large rail stations, is one of several sell-offs planned by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government in a broader effort aimed at helping reduce Italy’s high public debt.

It will grant new funds to the Italian state railway company Ferrovie dello Stato, which holds a stake of 60 percent in Grandi Stazioni retail. Private investment vehicle Eurostazioni owns the remaining 40 percent.

The sale procedure, started in November, will be concluded with the approval by the two shareholders’ boards.

Earlier in the day two sources close to the matter told Reuters the consortium had made the highest offer.

“The sale is a key step in our broader strategy to focus on our core business of infrastructure and transport,” Ferrovie dello Stato Chief Executive Renato Mazzoncini said in a statement.

A number of other companies had also expressed interest in buying the retail space, including private equity firms Lone Star, BC Partners, Terra Firma, as well as Deutsche Asset Management together with ATP and Poste Vita.