Finsbury picked to grow Autostrade road profile

Autostrade, Europe’s largest toll road operator, is to launch a financial communications campaign which will target investors across the continent.

Financial PR shop Finsbury has been brought in following last year’s major restructure of Autostrade’s shareholder base, which increased the free float of shares available to investors. Although the company’s only listing is in Milan, Auto- strade hopes to attract investment from Europe’s major financial institutions.

Much of Finsbury’s brief will focus on raising Auto- strade’s profile in the financial media as well as assisting the in-house team’s relations with analysts and investors. Finsbury will also provide support for road shows.

Leading the account is Finsbury co-founder Rupert Younger, reporting to Auto- strade head of communications Vito Zapala.

Autostrade holds a 25 per cent stake in Midland Expressway, the joint venture responsible for building and operating the UK’s first toll road, the M6 toll in the West Midlands. Opened last month, car drivers pay a £3 flat rate fee to use a 27-mile stretch of the M6, one of the UK’s busiest motorways. Investment group Macquarie Infrastructure holds the other 75 per cent stake in Midland Expressway.

The company also operates a toll system for heavy goods vehicles in Austria.

Autostrade is expected to announce its full year results for 2003 at the end of March.

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