Auction for Italy’s railway stations manager Grandi Stazioni will start at the beginning of may and will be managed by Rotschild,
The group is controlled with a 60% stake by the Italian rail operator Ferrovie dello Stato (advised on the the deal by Gianni Origoni Grippo law firm) while the remaining 40% is held by Eurostazioni spa (Edizione srl , Vianini lavori, Pirelli e Sncf, advised by Legance law firm).
Grandi Stazioni manages Italy’s 14 largest railway stations covering more than 1,5 millions square meters in real estate properties, of which more than 140k dedicated to commercial activites, and with more than 700 million visitors each year. Moreover the group also managed Praga central station and Marianske Lazne station in the Czech Republic.
Potential investors are lining up and have the new industrial plan 2015-2020 (wrote by Grandi Stazioni’s ceo Paolo Gallo advised by Mc Kinsey) on their desk. Potential investors are said to be sovereign funds from Abu Dhabi (Adia), Qatar (Qia) and SIngapore (Gic); real estate operators with a retail sector focus such as Klepierre and Unibal Rodamco; private equity funds such as Cvc, Bain Capital, Cinven and Blackstone; infrastructure funds such as Antin and Ardian.
Other funds looking at the dossier are said to be Permira, Carlyle and Clessidra while Fondo Strategico and F2i too might be interested in the dela.
Not all the activities of Grandi Stazioni are on sale. The auction will regard just the retail activities which are going to be spun off in a newco called GS Retail, while real estate and engineering activites will be spun off in other two newcos, respectively GS Real Estate and GS Rail. As a result of the spin off, private investors will own shares in GS Retail’ s capital only so their stake will be raised to 50% from 40% as a compensation.
Retail activities are the most profitable ones in Grandi Stazioni’s business and the deal is valued about 800 million euros or 18x Grandi Stazioni’s expected 2014 ebitda of 44 million euros (from 45 millions in 2013, when it reached 206 millions in revenues with a net financial debt of 167 million euros, download here the 2013 consolidated financial statements).