Atlantia to seek new CEO ahead of Benetton

Italian holding company Atlantia (ATL.MI) said on Tuesday it would look for a new chief executive as its owners, the Benetton family, prepare to take the motorway and airport group private together with U.S. fund Blackstone (BX.N).

Atlantia said its board on Aug. 4 would examine a possible financial agreement to part ways with CEO Carlo Bertazzo and would start working to replace him once the accord was finalised.

Bertazzo would continue to lead the group in the meantime, Atlantia said.

Atlantia hired Bertazzo three years ago to steer the group through an emergency phase as Italy’s government threatened to revoke the group’s motorway concession following the deadly collapse of a bridge it operated.

Drawing a line after the prolonged crisis, Atlantia in May reached an 8.2 billion euro ($8.40 billion) deal to dispose of its domestic motorway business.

The de-listing that is set to follow the 58-billion euro offer by the Benettons and Blackstone would start a new phase for Atlantia, which has started investing on smart traffic technology using some of the 8 billion euros it pocketed from its Italian motorway unit sale.

($1 = 0.9773 euros)