Intesa SanPaolo bank, advised by Ubs, is in final talks to sell its payments unit Setefi to banking services firm Istituto Centrale delle Banche Popolari (Icbpi) which is said to have offered a higher price than the one made by Italian payment services group Sia, Reuters wrote yesterday.
The deal is worth more than 1 billion euros or more than 10x Setefi’s ebitda (which is the same committement that Intesa Sanpaolo is taking in the Italian Government sponsored Atlante fund aiming at capitalizing Italian distressed banks and buying Npls, see a previous post by BeBeez).
Intesa Sanpaolo’s 2015 annual report explains that “Setefi specialises in managing electronic payment systems, and is registered in the Payment Institutes Registry kept by the Bank of Italy. The company is an independent business unit for acquiring and a hub for concentrating all activities relating to cards and POS. It also processes payment cards on behalf of the banks in the Intesa Sanpaolo Group and issues its own payment cards. Almost all of the 15 million cards managed by Setefi are cards issued directly by the Parent Company and the Group banks (+6% compared to 2014). Total handled POS amounted to approximately 364,000. The total number of transactions “handled” (transactions on Setefi POS and transactions of cards issued by Intesa Sanpaolo and released by the Group banks on other POS) was 955 million (approximately +15% compared to 2014), and the total amount transacted was 68.9 billion euro (approximately +14%)”.
A decision about the sale is expected by next week. The dossier has been studied also by private equity funds such as CVC and Permira who tried to buy Icbpi last year.
Both Icbpi and Sia sare controlled by private equity funds. Sia, the European leader in payments infrastructures and technological services for banks and financial companies is 49.48% owned by Fondo Strategico Italiano, whileinfrastructure fund F2i sgr owns a 17.05% stake and Orizzonte sgr an 8.64% stake, while a group of banks own the remaining capital: Intesa Sanpaolo (3.97%), Unicredit (3.97%), Banco Popolare (2.52%), Banca Mediolanum (2.85%) and Deutsche Bank (2.58%). The group is preparing an ipo for next September (see here the press release) after rumors about a potential merger with UK Vocalink did not come to an conclusion (see here a previous post by BeBeez).
Italy’s payment services bank Icbpi, which also owns CartaSì, is 89% controlled by Bain Capital, Advent International and Clessidra funds (trough Mercury Italy srl), while the remaining stake is owned by a group of Italian banks (among them Credito Valtellinese and Banca Popolare di Sondrio own a 2% stake each, Bper and Banco Popolare own a 1.5% stake each, while Ubi Banca and Banca Popolare di Milano own a 1% stake each).
Meanwhile Icbpi is also in advanced talks to buy from private equity funds and banks the controlling stake in Bassilichi, an Italian leader in business process outsourcing working for banks, corporate companies and public administration entities. Bassilichi is today owned by its ceo Leonardo Bassilichi (23.05%), MP Venture sgr (19%), Monte dei Paschi (11.74%), Finanziaria Senese di Sviluppo (12.84%), Sici sgr (fondo Toscana Venture, 11.29%, and fondo Centro Invest, 5%) and Banca Popolare dell’Emilia Romagna (8.87%).