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INTESA SANPAOLO BUYS AUTOSTRADE GROUP’S SHARES IN AUTOSTRADE LOMBARDE AND BECOMES THE LARGEST SHAREHOLDER WITH 39.3%


Rome, 2 April 2007 –Today saw the signature of the contract for the purchase by Intesa Sanpaolo of the 35.5% stake held by Autostrade per l'Italia S.p.A. in Autostrade Lombarde S.p.A. and the stake held in Bre.Be.Mi. S.p.A. equal to 1% of the capital.

Autostrade Lombarde in turn holds 86.2% of the Project Design company Bre.Be.Mi., owner since 2003 (following international bidding) of the concession for the construction and management of the 50 kilometre Brescia – Milan motorway link.

Through this purchase Intesa Sanpaolo, which already has a 3.8% stake in Autostrade Lombarde S.P.A., becomes the largest shareholder in the company with a stake of 39.3%, if pre-emptive rights are not exercised by other partners.

“We believe we have made a significant contribution to the development of this project”, declared the Managing Director of Autostrade, Giovanni Castellucci, who added, “Intesa Sanpaolo, which has already a significant involvement in the project, is the natural partner. The participation of new investors will contribute to the creation of other entrepreneurial poles in the sector, on a strong private basis with compelling market logic, which we are aware we need”.

Mario Ciaccia, Managing Director of Banca Intesa Infrastrutture e Sviluppo, declared, “The modernisation of the infrastructure and the upgrading of the area are top priorities for Italy and constitute the main mission for Banca Intesa Infrastrutture e Sviluppo. We have supported the Brebemi project right from the start, overcoming many difficulties and problems and we are now proud to be able to say that, thanks to our commitment, the first worksites will soon open on the Brescia –Bergamo –Milan motorway. We shall support the company as long as necessary and, in agreement with the current partners, we will facilitate the widening of the share base when the opportunity arises.”

“I wish to express my appreciation, stated the Chairman of Brebemi, Francesco Bettoni, for the role played up to now by Autostrade per l’Italia which has contributed significantly to the development of the Brebemi project, both in the bidding phase of the European competition for the concession and in having the idea of an “entry” to resolve the problem of balance in the new financial plan. The experience and the professionalism of the team which Autostrade per l’Italia has made available to Brebemi have been vital for the entire project.
Another positive aspect is the fact that, faced with the risk of divergences of opinion which could have had negative repercussions on the project, the attitude of Autostrade was consistent, immediately stepping aside so as not to obstruct even slightly the pursuance of the project itself.
In emphasising also the absolute absence of interference by Autostrade, which stuck to its role as shareholder, Brebemi acknowledges this changeover, welcoming with great satisfaction the renewed commitment of the Intesa SanPaolo Group, in particular Banca Intesa Infrastrutture e Sviluppo, the institution dedicated to supporting infrastructure projects in Italy, which, in addition to strengthening its own stakeholding, is also consolidating the financial position of Brebemi”.

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