Many news came in the week ending yesterday from the Italian private equity market. Both as for deals made and as for deals rumored.
Charme III acquired 80% of OCS, a provider of IT systems for consumer credit firms and retail banking for an undisclosed deal value (see here a previous post by BeBeez). Luciano Benedini, Francesco Cavagna, and Lorenzo Cereda, OCS founders, will keep a20% stake in the business and their positions of CEOs. Milan’s m&a boutique Klecha&Co acted as financial advisor to OCS. The company has revenues of 30 million of euros and an ebitda of 21 million. Charme III, managed by Charme sgr, led by Matteo di Montezemolo, closed its 650 million fundraising in 2016 overachieving its target of 500 million. The fund’s portfolio includes Spanish businesses Igenomix , a prenatal genetic dyagnostic company, Valtecnic/Ibertasa, a provider of real estate surveying services for banks. In the UK, Charme invested in JD Classics , a provider of refurbishment and trading services for iconic cars, and in Witherslack, a provider of services for education. ATOP, a company active in industrial automation for the electric mobility, and Fiocchi, a producer of bullets for sport, are Charme’s Italian investments.
Step, an Italian provider of e-procurement and IT services for financial services companies, sold a 45% stake to a pool of family offices and private investors (see here a previous post by BeBeez). . Businessmen Stefano Miccinelli, Stefano Trentino, Marco Forasassi Torresani, Renato Peroni, and Cristiano Portas originated the transaction. Newco Jupiter acquired 100% of Step from the families Crespi, Cicogna Mozzoni, andFaina, which reinvested the proceeds of such sale for buying back 55% of the business. Mediocredito Italiano, part of Intesa SanPaolo, and Crédit Agricole acted as lenders. Last year the company posted sales in the region of 60 million of euros (52 million in 2016), an ebitda of 4.6 million and net cash of 1.6 million. Intesa Sanpaolo, Unicredit, Banco Bpm, Poste Italiane, Generali, and Groupama are some of Step’s clients.
Cerberus Capital Management, the New York-based private investment firm, appointed Roberto Nicastro as senior advisor (See here a previous post by BeBeez). Nicastro will scout investment and partnership opportunities for European financial services. Nicastro previously worked as chief operating officer, chairman of Carichieti, Banca Marche, Banca Etruria, and Cariferrara while handling their sale, and has been a board member of HVB, Austrian Bank and Poland’s Pekao. Nicastro is currently chairman of Cassa del Trentino and board member of Milan M&A boutique Vitale & Co. Cerberus has 34 billion of dollars of assets under management invested in the sectors of credit, private equity and real estate. Cerberus is reportedly negotiating the acquisition of troubled Italian airline Alitalia and portfolios of Npls.
Italian infrastructure and energy investor F2i acquired six photovoltaic farms from competitor Ardian Infrastructure (See here a previous post by BeBeez). Banca Imi financed the buyer. These assets will belong to EF Solare Italia, a joint venture that F2i equally owns with Enel Green Power. EF Solare is also one of the suitors of RTR Rete Rinnovabile.
The Italian pension fund for labour consultants (Enpacl) announced its investment commitment of 90 million of euros in Asset management umbrella fund (Amuf) (see here a previous post by BeBeez). Amuf is managed by the European Investment Fund, an investor in private equity and venture capital firms with a focus on European midmarket After Enpacl commitment, Amuf fundraising is of 315 million. Cassa Forense, Italian lawyers’ pension fund, committed to invest 175 million in Amuf, who set a fundraising target of 2 billion euros. Amuf has three units European Growth Capital, Risk Capital for European Tech, and Risk Capital for European Life Science.
As for rumored deals, JC Flowers, the US private equity firm with a focus on financial services, is said mulling to acquire an Italian bank (see here a previous post by BeBeez). A reported potential target was said to be Rome-based Banca del Fucino, which belongs to the Torlonia family, but it was reporeted yesterday that the bank was bought by Barents Group. In 2007 JC Flowers acquired the majority of financial services company Equita (fka Euromobiliare) from listed Italian bank Credem and sold the asset in January 2016 to the bespoke Italian banker Alessandro Profumo. However, Spaxs, the Spac that Corrado Passera and Andrea Clamer launched, is also reportedly interested in Banca del Fucino. Further potential targets for Spax are Banca Interprovinciale and Banco delle Tre Venezie di Padova.
Wycon Cosmetics, an Italian manufacturer of make-up and beauty products that belongs to Gianfranco Satta and Raffaella Pagano, is looking for a minority investor (see here a previous post by BeBeez). Milan boutique Ethica Corporate Finance is assisting the company. The transaction is of interest to private equity firms Trilantic Capital Partners, L Catterton, and Argos Soditic. Vendors expect bids on the ground of an enterprise value of 235 million of euros. However, international private equity funds are also considering Kiko, and Italian cosmetics company that broken the covenants for its debt of 200 million of euros (See here aprevious post by BeBeez). Press reports said that potential suitors were Apollo Delos, the Italian subsidiary of Apollo Global Managment, Carlyle, CVC, Investindustrial, Peninsula, and an unnamed Spac.
Condotte, the Rome-based contractor, is of interest to turnaround and special situations investors (see here a previous post byBeBeez). The company has bank debts of 461 million of euros out of total liabilities worth 767 million, and last year in January applied for a receivership procedure while negotiating a prolongment of its maturities. Rumoured suitors are Oxy Capital, which signed a partnership with Attestor Capital, Pillarstone Italy, Apollo Global Management, and Arrow Global through its Italian subsidiary Europa Investimenti. Condotte may set an in-house newco that will own its core activities and a bad company that will hold the company’s credits, and debt towards government institutions. Unicredit, Intesa, Banco Bpm, Mps, and Banca Ifis are some of Condotte’s lenders. In 2016 the company posted sales of 844.1 million of euros, an ebitda of 45 million, and net profits of 13.5 million. Despite posting such figures, the company has difficulties in cashing its credits from the public administration which are worth 400 million.
Milan-listed internet provider Tiscali hired Mediobanca for exploring strategic options for the group (see here a previous post byBeBeez). Tiscali belongs to Russian businessman Vadim Belyaev. Italy’s tlcs Fastweb and Linkem are interested in the asset. Linkem is a wireless broadband internet provider that belongs to US-based asset management giant BlackRock, US investment company Leucadia National Corporation and the US financial firm Cowen Group. Tiscali already defaulted part of its net financial debt worth 178 million euros and while drafting a new strategic plan for 2018-2021 is in talks with lenders for a standstill agreement. Such an eventual settlement would be for a senior loan facility that Intesa Sanpaolo and Banco Bpm provided and a sale&lease back contract signed with Mediocredito italiano and Unicredit Leasing. In 1H18 Tiscali posted 103.6 million euros in revenues (+6.9% from H1 2016), ebitda of 14.4 million in (+16.3%), and net profits of 24.5 million.