UPDATE 1-ACS interested in buying "significant" stake in Atlantia's motorway unit - source
(Adds TCI comments, details)
MILAN, April 8 (Reuters) - Spanish infrastructure group ACS has sent a letter to Atlantia expressing interest in buying a "significant stake" in the Italian group's motorway unit, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.
ACS valued the whole of Atlantia's Autostrade per l'Italia unit at up to 10 billion euros ($12 billion), Atlantia investor TCI, which was also aware of the contents of the letter, told Reuters.
"We welcome ACS's offer, which is far superior to the offer made by (Italian state lender) CDP and its partners," TCI Advisory Partner Jonathan Amouyal said.
ACS declined to comment.
Last week CDP and its partners Macquarie and Blackstone filed a new proposal to buy Atlantia's 88% stake in Autostrade in a fresh effort to end a dispute triggered by the collapse of a bridge run by the unit.
The consortium's binding offer is based on a valuation of 9.1 billion euros for the whole of Autostrade and asks Atlantia to cover 870 million euros in potential legal risks, making concessions compared with the bid presented in February, sources have said.
"The Italian government should allow Autostrade to be sold to the highest bidder without any political interference," TCI's Amouyal said, asking Atlantia's board to explore the ACS offer.
The news of the letter, first reported by the Financial Times, emerged as the board of Atlantia was meeting to review the offer presented by the CDP-led consortium. ($1 = 0.8411 euros) (Additional reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette in Madrid; editing by Agnieszka Flak)
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