MILAN (Reuters) - A tie-up between Atlantia <ATL.MI> and Spanish road-toll operator Abertis <SBE.MC> will proceed as planned, the deputy chairman of Atlantia's top shareholder told a newspaper, dismissing worries it could be scrapped after a bridge disaster last month.
A section of the 50-year-old Morandi bridge in the northern city of Genoa collapsed on Aug. 14 sending dozens of cars plunging to the ground and killing 43 people. The bridge is part of a motorway, which is managed by toll-road operator Autostrade, a unit of infrastructure group Atlantia.
"Abertis is very important deal for Atlantia and for Italy, a deal which has been closed and defined and which ... will proceed as planned," Gilberto Benetton, deputy head of the Edizione Holding which controls Atlantia, told Corriere della Sera in an interview when asked if the deal would be halted.
Benetton added he had total faith in Fabio Cerchiai, the chairman of both Atlantia and Autostrade, and was confident in the competence of the management of both companies.
(Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; editing by Philip Pullella)