Italy’s private equity firms QuattroR sgr e Italmobiliare spa confirmed yesterday rumors about talks to buy control of Ferrarini, a leading ham and parmesan cheese producer, now entirely owned by the second generation of the Ferrarini family or Luca, Licio, Licia, Lisa e Lia, the children of the founder Lauro Ferrarini (see here the press release).
Il Messaggero newspaper actually wrote on Wednesday June 13th that the Ferrarini group is suffering under a big debt burden which had raised after some new loans that the group received from Veneto Banca in order to be able to buy shares of Veneto Banca itself. Veneto Banca then was close to bankruptcy as it was Banca Popolare di Vicenza and the two banks were rescued by Intesa Sanpaolo while all their non performing exposures were transferred to Sga, a government owned company whose mission is to manage that NPE portfolio.
In order to come out of the empasse, Il Messaggero wrote that Ferrarini entered in exclusive talks with Italmobiliare with a deadline at the end of August. The aim would be for Italmobiliare and QuattroR to buy a 80-90% stake in Ferrarini, both acquiring some shares from the family (the shares are owned indirectly by Luxembourg companies Elle Effe sa and Agri-foods Investments sa) and subscribing a capital increase. All that would mean for the two investors to deploy about 100 million euros of capital, 50% each.
Ferrarini group has a total burden of about 250 million euros of debt, of which 122 million are the operative company level. Lenders are Unicredit (30 millions), Sga (30 millions), Banco Bpm (10 millions), Intesa Sanpaolo (20 millions), Carisbo, Credit Agricole Cariparma and Banca del Mezzogiorno. Of the remaining 138 million euros of debts, about 100 million euros are versus Sga.
This means that even if Ferrarini made a great jump in refvenues in 2017 to about 335 millions euro with 29.5 millions in ebitda, the burden of the debt remains rather heavy.
The group had reached 203 million euros in refenues in 2016, with 19 millions in ebitda and a 123.8 million euros of net finanical debt, including 35.5 millions of minibond listed at the ExtraMot Pro. More in detail, there is a 5.5 million euros minibond maturing in December 2020 with a 5.625% coupon which was entirely subscribed by a minibond fund managed by Duemme sgr (gruppo Mediobanca), and a 30 million euro bond maturing in April 2020 with a 6.375% coupon, issued in Aprile 2015.