The sale revolves around the Candiani family’s plans to get out of the company. In August 2012, PetrolValves head Mario Candiani died and his daughters, not having operational roles in the company, sought Italian financier Matteo Arpe to advise them what to do with their stakes. The family trimmed then its 60 percent equity holding by selling a 20% stake of its holding (or a 12% stake in Petrolvalves) to buyout fund Sator, led by Mr. Arpe. The Candianis are being advised on the sale by Banca Profilo, controlled by Arpe.
At the same time the Lualdi family (controlling the remaining 40% of the company) mandated Mediobanca to examine options and study the idea to make an offer for the 60% stake in PetrolValves in the hands of Sator and the Candiani sisters, possibly in an alliance with other investors.
In the last few months Banca Profilo received many expressions of interest from both industrial players and private equity funds but rivalry between the Candiani and Lualdi families could be a problem, as this might deter some of the bidders who want to secure full control of Petrolvalves.
Actually the Lualdis are reluctant to sell and earlier this year entered into an agreement with London-based buyout fund Permira to study a joint bid. However the agreement is now expired and Permira chos not to go on the deal as it seemed too much complicated to come to an end in a reasonable time.
Bids came from General Electric, who took over the aerospace-parts business of Italy-based Avio last year. GE Italia ceo Sandro De Poli actually told the Italian press a couple of weeks ago that “our interest on Petrolvalves is real. However it is not clear how that story will end. At the moment we are at the expression of interests and we put forward ours”.
Other names of indusrial players are circulating such as German family Thyssen of Thyssen Krupp, US conglomerate Pentair, US Emerson Electric or UK engineering IMI. Also US private equity operator First Reserve made a bid. The fund invested in Ansaldo Energia some years ago and sold its stake last year to Italian Government sponsored Fondo Strategico Italiano (see a previous post by BeBeez). The latter is also looking at the Petrolvalves dossier in order to enlarge the business of its partecipated company Valvitalia (see a previous post by BeBeez).
Petrolvalves reached consolidated revenues of 223,7 million euros in 2013 (up from 207.4 millions) with ebitda of 78 millions (from about 50 millions) and a positive net financial position thanks to 220 millions of cash. Valuation are said to be over 10x 2014 ebitda which is seen growing over ebitda in 2013.