Brisa-Auto Estradas de Portugal SA, Portugal’s biggest highway operator, rose as much as 19 percent in Lisbon trading after shareholders with a combined 50 percent stake offered to buy the rest of the company.
The stock rose as high as 2.79 euros, and traded at 2.69 euros as of 9:45 a.m. in the Portuguese capital, heading for the biggest one-day gain since 1997 and valuing the company at 1.6 billion euros ($2.1 billion). More than 7 million shares were traded so far today, about seven times the daily average volume in the past six months.
Jose de Mello SGPS SA, a holding company for one of Portugal’s richest families, and Aeif Apollo Sarl are offering 2.66 euros in cash per Brisa share, they said yesterday after trading ended in Lisbon. That was 13 percent higher than Brisa’s closing share price yesterday of 2.35 euros.
“With the cash offer, the main issue to consider is a potential sweetener,” Exane BNP Paribas analysts Stanislas Coquebert de Neuville and Nicolas Mora said today in a research note in which they upgraded Brisa shares to “neutral” from “underperform.” They added they don’t expect any competing bid.
There is no “margin” to increase the offer, Jose de Mello Chairman Vasco de Mello, who’s also Brisa’s chairman and chief executive officer, told reporters in Lisbon yesterday.
Jose de Mello is already Brisa’s largest shareholder with a 30.48 percent stake, according to the company’s website, while Aeif Apollo holds 19.09 percent. Combined they already have 54 percent of voting rights in Brisa.
Abertis Infraestructuras SA (ABE), Spain’s biggest toll-road operator, owns 15 percent of Brisa.
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