Mr. Bernardo Caprotti, founder of Italy’s leading supermarkets chain Esselunga, appointed Citi as his mandated advisor in order to evaluate bids the company had received in the last few months from CVC and Blackstone private equity firms (see here a previous post by BeBeez).
The decision has been taken by the Board of Supermarkets Italiani, Esselunga’s parent company but a timetable has not been detailed. The decision is an historical step for Mr. Caprotti who has been courted many times in the last few years both by private eqity firms and giant GDO groups such as Wal-Mart or Carrefour.
he 91-years old entrepreneur is now said to have decided to sell its company in order to guarantee stability to his group in the future as his heirs might quarrel about control.
Esselunga is said to have an enterprise value of about 6 billion euros or 9.5-10x year 2015’s ebitda. Esselunga reached 7,312 billion euros in revenues last year (up 4.3% from 2014) with 625 million euro in ebitda (up 20%), 421 millions in ebit (up 29%) and 290 millions in net profit (up 37%). The group also saw its net financial debt soaring to 116 million euros (up from 85 millions in 2014) but after 400 million euros in new investments in the year (for a total of 1.8 billion euros in new investments in the last 5 years). The 6 billion euros EV is net of all the real estate assets which are said to remain ownership of the Caprotti family (through La Villata Partecipazioni), in the case of a deal.