The offer includes the right of the current shareholders to receive the €30m dividend agreed at a shareholders meeting on January 19. The offer also includes an additional €10m to cover the costs incurred by Italo-NTV for its planned IPO and application to be listed on the Italian stock exchange which will now be withdrawn. This increases the total value of the transaction to €1.98bn.

The offer is conditional on the sale being agreed by February 11, subject to approval by antitrust authorities.

Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) manages over $US 40bn for its investors, and the companies in its portfolio have combined annual revenues of more than $US 5bn and employ around 21,000 people. In the transport sector, GIP owns Gatwick and Edinburgh airports in Britain, the Port of Melbourne and Australian rail freight operator Pacific National.