An auction for leading italian call center manager Comdata is to end shortly. Final bids by Carlyle and Pai partners private equity firms are said to be the most favourite by Il Sole 24 Ore while last August il Corriere della Sera wrote that Apax Partners too was in good position. The auction is managed by Rothshild.
As for the latter last July the Spanish magazine Expansion, wrote that Apax and Comdate had presented a joint 300 million euros bid for Spanish call center manager Grupo Konecta, controlled by Banco Santander (52%) and partecipated by insurance group Liberty (10%), with the management owning the rest of the capital. Grupo Konecta had been on sale in 2014 and some private equity firms were said to be interested to the deal such as Trilantic Capital Partners and Pai. However the sale was suspended.
Coming back to Italian Comdata, it is now controlled by Altair Servizi Informatici (85%), chaired by entrepreneur Enrico Saraval, with Italian mid-market private equity firm Synergo sgr owning the remaining 15%.
Comdata has been supported many times by private equity firms in the past. The group was founded in Turin in 1987 by entrepreneur Fiorenzo Codognotto and his wife Laura Trentin. In 2000 the two sold 50% of Comdata capital to Altair, which was controlled by Mr. Saraval and partecpated by some Italian entrepreneurs with Gianfilippo Cuneo, founder of Synergo sgr, among them.
In 2004 Italian mid-market private equity firm Industria&Finanza sgr bought a 20% stake in Comdata’s capital and the company obtained a mezzanine financement by the Mediterranean Mezzanine fund, managed by Italian Mezzanine, a management company founded in 2004 by Gianfilippo Cuneo, Roberto Liguori e Guido Castellini (but in 2008 Mr. Cuneo left Italian Mezzanine).
In 2007 Industria&Finanza decided to divest from Comdata so the company look for a new investor who might substitute the private equity fund acuqiring a 20-30% stake. Magenta and Stirling Square Capital Partners’ funds were said to be aong the funds who had been interested to the deal. However an agreement didn’t come so the old Comdata’s shareholders decided to by Inustria&Finanza’s stake, while Italian Mezzanine fund divested its position.
The last reorganization happened in 2010 when Mr. Codognotto chose to sell its stake in Comdata and founded the new company Ennova. a digital startup where Orizzonte sgr’s private equity fund invested a few days ago buying a 33% stake. After Mr. Codognotto’s exit Altair raised its stake to 85% in Comdata’s capital while Synergo sgr diluted to a 15%.
Headquartered in Milan, Comdata closed 2014 with about 350 million euros in revenues thanks to clients such as Vodafone, Telecom Italia and Skye and operated all over Italy with 13 operative offices with 4,600 operative stations. Starting from year 2011 Comdata has been growing aborad too and it is now active with 13 operative offices (5 in Romania, 4 in Czech Republic, 1 in Argentina and 3 in Turkey) with 5,600 oeprative stations working for local clients and foreign divisions’ of italian companies. Comdata is said to be valued about 300 miillion euros,