Published: 08:00, 05 March 2018
| Updated: 10:30, 05 March 2018
An Italian infrastructure group has bought a 15% stake in the operator of Eurotunnel for more than €1 billion (£942m).
Atlantia has taken a share of Getlink, which runs the Channel Tunnel, after buying the Aero I Global and International fund, which owned the stake in the Folkestone-based company.
The deal was equivalent to paying €12.40 per share (£11.06) for the fund, which was an investment vehicle owned by Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners.
It makes Atlantia the largest shareholder in Getlink, which moves more than 20 million passengers each year, as well as 1.6 million trucks and 2.6 million cars.
Getlink chairman and chief executive Jacques Gounon said: “The arrival of Atlantia, a major player in the infrastructure world, is a fantastic news, a sign of stability and very positive for our shareholders and our staff.
"This position shows great confidence in the future of Getlink and opens up very constructive opportunities for development.
"I would also like to thank Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners, which entered the capital of Eurotunnel at a crucial moment in the company’s history, and whose thoughtful and continuous support helped to give the group a future many might not have thought possible."
Atlantia chief executive Giovanni Castellucci said: “The investment in Getlink represents an interesting financial opportunity for the group.
"It is a very well managed business with strong track record and competent management.
"We are proud to become Getlink’s largest shareholder and we look forward to contribute to the success of the company and its management team."
Getlink was formed after Eurotunnel changed its name in November last year.