Home » Big investors warn Enav: don’t buy airports or we’ll leave

Big investors warn Enav: don’t buy airports or we’ll leave

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Big investors warn Enav: don’t buy airports or we’ll leave

MILANO – The institutional investors ask for a meeting with the board of directors of Enav ahead of March 20thwhen the company controlled by the Mef – which manages air traffic – will present the new industrial plan. A series of leading Italian and foreign funds have done what in jargon is called “engagement”, or rather a dialogue with the company, declaring oneself against an investment in an airportan activity that, according to them, it is outside the statute and which would put the group’s neutrality in the exercise of its core business at risk.

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Il Mef controls 53.3% of the capital, while the institutional investorsaccording to the latest official data, have 39.2% of the shares. Therefore, if the group led by Pasqualino Monti decided to change article 4 of the statute, it would have to call an extraordinary meeting to approve the changes, and pay those who vote against it a right of withdrawal: to date assuming that all the shareholders decided to exercise the withdrawal the company may have to shell out up to 800 million.

Interest in the Palermo airport

The question arises because they circulated in December rumors, not denied, of a possible interest by Enav in the Palermo airport, a minor but important airport, with traffic of around 5 million passengers. Mountains before being appointed CEO of Enav, with the support of Fratelli D’Italiait was the president of the port system authority of the Eastern Sicilian Sea, so he knows the Sicilian capital well. Having said this, in the opinion of the large funds, investing in an airport would entail a change of corporate purpose with respect to “the operation of flight assistance services” and “air navigation in Italy and abroad”, un risk that minority shareholders are not willing to take. The question, however, lends itself to the questionvarious legal interpretations. Second an opinion collected by Enav in this regardl’obstacle could be overcome given that the statute in point 4 also provides for investment in «any related or complementary activity» to that of air traffic management. Enav is an excellence in the sector, with a very high reputation in the world, however the threat of an investment in Palermo has already caused the stock prices close to the theoretical prices of the right of withdrawal (which is equivalent to the average of the six months before the publication of the meeting notice to amend the statute). It is no coincidence that the stock, which in December was above 3.5 euros thanks to the boom in air traffic, slipped to 3.2 euros, below the levels of the 2016 placement (3.3 euros).

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The engagement of the funds took place on 28 February. When Enav was asked about it, the company replied that it “does not comment on rumours”. Enav is in the Blackout period preceding the approval of the results and the presentation of the plan, therefore it would still be prohibited from doing so. Everything is fine decision rests with the board of directorsbut investors have already warned the company about their position, therefore if Enav decided to invest in Palermo anyway, a tough legal battle would open up with the funds already on a war footing.

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