ACS celebrates its meeting with the focus on highways and energy

ACS celebrates its meeting with the focus on highways and energy

Shareholders will vote this Friday on the capital increase for up to a maximum of 574 million euros.

The president of ACS, Florentino Pérez.

The ACS Group will hold its ordinary general meeting of shareholders this Friday (via telematics) on second call where the 2020 accounts will be approved, a year marked by the pandemic in which the company chaired by Florentino Pérez has shown its resilience and ability to adapt to the effects of Covid-19 worldwide.

Among the items on the agenda, the vote to approve a capital increase of up to a maximum of 574 million issuance and circulation of new shares, with a nominal value of 0.5 euros each, of the same class and series as those currently in circulation.

Another procedure that ACS shareholders will have to vote on will be the appointment of Carmen Fernández Rozado and José Eladio Seco Domínguez as independent directors for the statutory period of four years from the date of this meeting.

Boost on motorways

The group chaired by Florentino Pérez will explain how it wants to reach objective of positioning itself as a world leader in road concessions. It is a division that despite the impact it had on the annual accounts due to mobility restrictions, the company trusts and bets on the long term.

Although Abertis (of which it owns 50%) reduced its contribution to the annual results of ACS by 280 million euros as its revenue fell by 24%, the company expects it to report profits again with the improvement in the world situation .

One of the highways that Atlantia controls in Italy through Autostrade.

One of the highways that Atlantia controls in Italy through Autostrade.
Autostrade (Atlantia)

Such is the wager ACS for the highway concessions that recently presented an offer of 10,000 million euros to take over the Atlantia highway network in Italy managed by the company Autostrade per l’Italia (Aspi). For now, the owner of the other 50% of Abertis has requested until May 31 to study the one presented by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), the Italian state fund, together with a consortium of investors that includes Blackstone and Macquarie.

If this operation goes ahead, ACS would reach a portfolio of almost 13,000 kilometers of highways under concession around the world. To the 3,000 kilometers of toll roads in Italy managed by Autostrade, the largest in the country, we must add 1,103 kilometers in the portfolio of Iridium, a 100% ACS concessions subsidiary, distributed in Argentina, Canada, Spain, United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States, and the almost 9,000 of Abertis in 16 countries in Europe, America and Asia.

Part of the money that would go to buy Autostrade comes from the sale for 5,000 of the industrial division, Cobra, to Vinci closed on April 1. With this, Florentino Pérez intends to create a large European infrastructure group hand in hand with his Italian partner Atlantia and focusing mainly on highway concessions.

The rest of the amount for the sale of Cobra, as explained by the president of the Spanish group, will use it to achieve another similar goal: create one of the leading energy companies in Europe. ANDn this case by the hand of its new French partner, Vinci.

The first step will be taken when both companies create a new company owned 51% by the gala and 49% by ACS, an operation to which they have already committed, as explained in the presentation of results.

both companies will contributeat market price and once they are finished, connected to the network and ready to produce, all renewable assets developed by the industrial division subject to the agreementat least, in the eight and a half years following the execution of the sale. The identified projects that will form part of this ‘joint venture’ will reach 25 gigawatts (GW) of renewables, mainly wind and photovoltaic.

Grow up in the US

The construction and services company will also explain to its shareholders its intention to take advantage of the ‘Biden Plan’ of infrastructures to increase the volume of business in the US. The new President of the Government of the North American country has put two billion dollars of public investment on the table.

Image of the viaduct on I-64 Hampton Roads being built by ACS.

Image of the viaduct on I-64 Hampton Roads being built by ACS.

ACS increases its position in the United States every day and this plan could significantly increase its portfolio in the country. Currently, its portfolio amounts to 29,600 million euros through Turner, Flatiron or Dragados USA. ANDhe weight of this market in the ACS portfolio went from 43.36% in 2019 at 45% at the end of 2020.

The company is the largest construction contractor in the United States and has led the ranking of ‘The Top 250 International Contractors’ by ‘ENR Engineering News-Record’ magazine since 2013.

Ellsworth Weber