Atlantia, the Benetton-controlled Italian infrastructure group at the center of the Genoa bridge disaster, has won a 950 million euro bid to acquire a Siemens unit that operates traffic lights in more than 600 cities across the world.
German company Yunex Traffic, which spun off from Siemens Mobility last year, provides important traffic management services, using cutting-edge technology, including artificial intelligence.
It’s the first big deal for Atlantia since ending its three-year dispute with the Italian government over the Morandi Bridge collapse in Genoa that killed 43 people in 2018.
The group had come under intense pressure to relinquish control of its subsidiary Autostrade per l’Italia in the wake of the tragedy, eventually selling the division to Italy’s CDP for 9.3 billion euros last summer.
Atlantia was chosen by German group Siemens ahead of private equity firms Bridgepoint and KKR, US defense and transport group Cubic and Chinese firm Hisense, the infrastructure group said.
It will pay the 950 million euros in cash, financed by dividends and the sale of a 49% stake in its subsidiary Telepass, which operates mobility services for toll roads. Mobility services involve the use of technology to enhance and improve transportation systems.
“Infrastructure management is now closely linked to innovation and sustainable mobility. Our goal is to create operational and growth synergies between our assets and Yunex. . . to enhance the travel experience,” said Atlanta General Manager Carlo Bertazzo.
Markus Schlitt, CEO of Yunex, said, “Joining Atlantia is a fundamental growth opportunity for our business.
Atlantia was seen as an ideal strategic partner for a company with sensitive operations, three people with knowledge of the transaction said. The agreement is also part of the infrastructure company’s new decision to invest in mobility services.
Yunex Traffic, formerly known as Siemens Intelligent Traffic Systems, has 3,000 employees and operates traffic lights and cameras in cities including London, Berlin, Dubai and Miami.
Its technology will be used to help Atlantia modernize its toll road and airport operations. It would strengthen the group’s position in bidding for the operation of toll roads and airports, people familiar with the deal said.
Atlantia also owns Aeroporti di Roma, which operates Rome’s two main airports, Fiumicino and Ciampino, and has a 65% stake in the operator of the French airports of Nice, Cannes and Saint-Tropez. He also controls the Spanish infrastructure company Abertis.
Although the Siemens subsidiary does not operate in airports, it will be able to develop a new business segment focused on passenger flow tracking, parking management and airport security, say people familiar with the news. case.
The sale is part of a broader Siemens strategy to refocus its portfolio through divestments and acquisitions.