Hochtief makes Abertis counterbid

German contractor Hochtief has launched a counterbid for the takeover of Abertis, challenging an offer from Italian road operator Atlantia.

Hochtief has advanced a €17.1bn proposal, with €18.76 for each Abertis share, also setting a minimum acceptance threshold of 50% plus one share.

The offer tops the €16.3bn bid from Atlantia, which entered an acceptance period from 10-24 October as announced by Spanish financial regulator Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV).

Meanwhile, the board of directors at Abertis unanimously concluded that the offer from Atlantia is “positive and attractive from the industrial point of view, but considers that the cash consideration value has margin of improvement”.

Earlier this summer, ACS confirmed to the CNMV that it was considering an offer for Abertis

Hochtief has also outlined plans to increase the dividend pay-out ratio towards 90% of the distributable net profits of the combined group, should its merger with Abertis succeed.