Majority in Milan’s M4 on the cards

A majority stake of some 60% in Italy’s Milan Metro line 4 (M4) concession may be up for grabs with a sale potentially on the cards early next year (2023).

IJGlobal revealed earlier this year (July) that Italian industrial group Webuild was looking to divest a minority interest in the PPP (around 30%) with NBOs received in May, according to sources at the time.

However, it later emerged that Webuild was requesting offers for 100% of the M4 concession, while the municipality of Milan – which holds two thirds of the metro line –  was considering the launch of a public lender to sell its own majority stake if offers for the entirety of the concession were deemed satisfactory.

A sale process for the municipality’s stake is forecast for early next year (2023), with the offload of Webuild’s stake now stalled and a possibility that it may potentially be re-tendered under the new public tender, according to a source.

Natixis was understood to be working on the sell-side of Webuild's divestment and one of the Big Four is understood to have been enlisted as both legal and financial adviser to the municipality of Milan, the source added.

The M4 is regulated on a basis of an availability fee – so it is a classical infrastructure fund investment.

The light rail system, also known as Milan’s Blue Line (La linea Blu di Milano), will be fully automated and connect the east to the west from Linate Airport to San Cristoforo Station.

Most of the project has now been developed and as of March this year (2022), work was reported to be 81% completed.

When the project is finished, the line will:

  • cover 118km of line
  • have 136 stations
  • transport an estimated 86 million passengers per year
  • reduce the car traffic in Milan by 180,000 a day
  • reduce CO2 emissions by 75,000 tons a year

A group of Italian and international banks lent a total of €516 million ($534.2m) in debt to the M4 in January 2015.

The municipality of Milan was contacted for comment but had not replied by the time of publication.

Asset SnapshotMilan Metro Line 4

Value:
EUR 1,700.00m (USD 1,774.69m)
Full Details

Transaction SnapshotAcquisition of 60% in Milan Metro Line 4