Sale process for Italy’s leading supermarkets chain Esselunga came to a stop yesterday. The decision was made by the Board of the parent company Supermarkets Italiani which also appointed notary Piergaetano Marchetti as a guarantee chairman after the almost 91-year old founder Bernardo Caprotti had passed away last October 1st (see here a previous post by BeBeez). While the lawyer of the Caprotti family, Vicenzo Mariconda, had already took the role of chairman of Esselunga in the last few weeks when Mr. Caprotti was getting sicker.
So CVC Partners and Blackstone private equity firms who had delivered a formal offer to the Board in the last few weeks as well as BC Parters who expressed interest more recently, have to wait and see what Mr. Caprotti’s heirs will decide about the future of the supermarkets chain.
Acutally this is not a simple story as Mr: Caprotti was not in good relationship with his son Giuseppe and daugher Violetta, from his first marriage. As for the Italian law people may decide do deliver to whoever they want just a 25% stake of their assets, while the rest is to be given to the first tier heirs that are spouse (one third) and children (two thirds). So when Mr. Caprotti’s will was read yesterday it was clear that the entrepreneur had decided to give contol of Esselunga to his actual wife Giovanna Albera and their daughether Marina Sylvia. Actully the three children received a 50% stake of all Mr. Caprotti assets, Mrs. Albera a 25% while Mrs. Albera and Marina also received the remaining 25% stake. All that meaning that Mrs. Albera and her daughter received a 66.7% stake, while Giuseppe and Violetta received a 33.33% stake (16.7% each).
The latter is a stake that might stop any deicion in the extraordinary meeting of Supermarkes Italiani so the bottom line is that the heirs have to come to an agreement about the future of a group that reached 7,312 billion euros in revenues last year (up 4.3% from 2014) with 290 millions in net profit (up 37%) (see here an analysis by Leanus, after free registration and login).
Coming back to Mr: Caprotti’s will, 45% of real estate assets in La Villata’s portfolio have been assigned to Giuseppe e Violetta while the reimaning 55% has been assigned to Mrs. Albera and Marina. La Villata owns 83 store and is valued about 1.7-2 billion euros.