GIC in €1bn Italian infrastructure deal

The Benetton-backed entity that owns Aeroporti di Roma and controls Italian highway manager Atlantia has said it will sell a 3 percent stake to the sovereign fund as it raises capital for infrastructure investments.

The Government of Singapore Investment Corp will invest approximately €1 billion ($1.5 billion) in Sintonia, an infrastructure holding company owned by Italy’s Benetton family, according to media reports.

“The aim of Sintonia is to raise approximately €4 billion to pursue its investment strategy in Italy and abroad and expand its platform of infrastructure investments,” Sintonia said in a statement.

Roman highway: sovereign backed

GIC will acquire a 3 percent stake in Sintonia and will also subscribe to a capital increase in the company that will raise its stake to approximately 14.3 percent.

Sintonia owns 96 percent of Rome airport operator Aeroporti di Roma and has investments in Italian highway manager Atlantia and Italy’s largest telecoms operator Telecom Italia.

Following the transaction, the Benetton family said it will retain a 67 percent interest in the company. Existing investors Goldman Sachs and Italian merchant bank Mediobanca will respectively own 14.3 percent and 4.8 percent. The transaction is set to be completed in the second quarter of 2008.

Singapore’s GIC last month agreed on a joint venture with ING Real Estate to acquire one of Italy’s largest shopping centers, Roma Est Shopping Centre, from Italian retailer Gruppo PAM in a deal valued at €400 million. In total, the property comprises approximately 92,700 square meters of rentable space.