Banca del Mezzogiorno, a bank 100% controlled by Poste Italiane and specialized in financing companies operating in the South of Italy, might be soon a target for private equity funds. The hypotesis had been launched at the end of last January by the Corriere della Sera, newspaper and is actually an idea which is gaining strenght.
The future of Banca del Mezzogiorno will be discussed tomorrow between Poste Italiane’s ceo, Francesco Caio, and Italy’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Pier Calo Padoan, who are meeting each month to fine tune the privatization process of Poste Italiane as the group is due to be listed on the Italian Stock Exchange by next Autumn.
Last November Mr. Caio said that he Banca del Mezzogiorno is no more in the future of Poste Italiane and Mr. Padoan said that Government-sponsored Agency Invitalia was in talks with Poste about a possibile merger with Banca del Mezzogiorno.
In the meantime Banca del Mezzogiorno reached a net profit of 40 million euros in 2014 that was twice the target of its industrial plan and Poste is than thinking to a different kind of deal instead of a simple sale. This is why rumors are that Poste might create a newco where it might retain a 20% stake and where other shareholders might be Invitalia and a private equity fund. The newo will acquire Banca del Mezzogiorno and than develop its business.
Last but not least a new rumor is that export credits insurer and guarator Sace too might be an actor in the deal as a new decree (so-called Investment Compact) allows it to become an export bank (see here a previous post by BeBeez).