Maurizio Tamagnini, head of the FSI fund, ended his adventure in Cedacri with a return of about 3x the capital invested in just over three years. However, FSI will not completely leave the scene because it will reinvest directly in the buyer’s capital for a minority. Acquiring control of the Italian company specializing in the outsourcing of IT and back office services to banks will be ION Investment Group, the global technology provider serving the financial sector, founded more than 20 years ago by the Italian entrepreneur Andrea Pignataro ( see here the Cedacri press release and here the one by FSI).
The deal will be on the basis of a 1.5 billion euros enterprise value. And that’s not all, because a completely new European chapter is now opening for Cedacri, in which FSI will continue to play a key role, reinvesting, according to BeBeez and MF Milano Finanza, about double what it had invested in 2018 or around 200 million euros.
Instead, banks shareholders of Cedacri will completely divest: Banca Mediolanum (15.6%), Cassa di Risparmio di Asti (11.1%), Banco di Desio e della Brianza (10.1%), BPER Banca (7.5%) , Banca Popolare di Bari (6.6%), Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano (6.5%), Banca del Piemonte (4.2%), Credito Emiliano (3.9%), Cassa di Grants and Savings among the Staff of the Bank of Italy (2.0%), Società Reale Mutua di Assicurazioni (1.3%), Banca del Fucino (1.1%), Banca Valsabbina (1.1%), Cassa di Risparmio di Cento ( 1.0%), Cassa di Risparmio di Volterra (1.0%).
In the operation, which will be leveraged for 30%, the selling shareholders were assisted by Deutsche Bank as financial consultant, Pedersoli Studio Legale as legal consultant, Prometeia as industrial consultant. Cedacri was assisted by Gianni & Origoni and Bonelli Erede as legal consultants, Boston Consulting Group as industrial consultant, Deloitte for financial due diligence, Studio Legale Tributario FRM as tax consultant for contractual matters and due diligence.
The operation will lead Cedacri to be a leader in Europe in digital technologies for banks, confirming the track record in the sector of the FSI team, when he was still working for Fondo Strategico Italiano, after the investment in tlc group Metroweb in 2012, when it was worth 450 million euro and then made it grow and finally sold in 2016 to Cdp and Enel which then merged it into Open Fiber (see here a previous article by BeBeez) and which today is worth over 5 billion, based on Macquarie‘s offer for 50 % held by Enel (see here a previous article by BeBeez); and after the investment in Sia, on which the FSI team had initially bet in 2013 when it had 1500 employees (see here a previous article by BeBeez) while today it has 3500, it is about to marry Nexi who in turn will merge with the Danish Nets and the group will become the largest pan-European paytech platform (see here a previous article by BeBeez). For Cedacri too the parable was the same.
FSI had bought 27.1% of Cedacri in January 2018, investing 99 million euros of equity, equal to approximately 370 million euros for 100%, to which 59 million of positive net financial position were added, for a total of 430 million of enterprise value (see here a previous article by BeBeez). Those numbers were calculated on the basis of an estimated 2017 turnover of 330 million and an estimated ebitda of 42 million. Since then, however, the company has grown, including through acquisitions.
In January 2019 Cedacri had in fact won the tender to acquire the entire capital of Oasi spa, the subsidiary of Nexi active in the development of solutions for banking compliance. Oasi was valued at 151 million euros, or about 10 times the ebitda of 2017, which was 15 million (see here a previous article by BeBeez). In June 2019, Cedacri also bought 88% of Cad It, the Italian leader in the supply of application software and services for the finance area of banking institutions, public administration and industry (see here a previous article by BeBeez). And in fact in 2019 Cedacri’s consolidated revenues rose to 382.9 million and the ebitda to 81.2 million, with a net profit of 28.8 million (see the press release here), while 2020 revenues were reached 410 million, with the ebitda reaching 100 million and a net financial debt and similar positions of 320 million. Numbers that justified the valuation of 1.5 billion euros.
Maurizio Tamagnini, ceo of FSI, commented: “We invested in Cedacri, certain of its growth potential and the strategic importance of the company for the entire Italian financial system. The FSI team, after previous successful investments in SIA (payment systems) and Metroweb (broadband network infrastructures), has once again demonstrated the ability and skills to facilitate the growth of an Italian digital and technological champion , accompanying it towards market leadership on a national and international level. Cedacri, SIA and Metroweb are clear examples in which the entry into the capital of an investor like FSI, with a patient and partnership approach, represents an enabling factor to develop the company’s potential, accelerate growth, create employment and expand in sustainable way. FSI will continue to support Italian technology companies such as Cedacri, with the aim of creating leading operators for the long-term development of digital verticals that play a strategic role for the Italian economy ”.
Barnaba Ravanne, cio of FSI, added: “We are satisfied with the result of our investment and proud to have found a partner of absolute value for the next phase of Cedacri’s growth. We would like to thank our partners, the shareholder banks, for the great collaboration, and above all Corrado Sciolla and his team for the exceptional execution of the plan under his guidance ”.
Corrado Sciolla, ceo of Cedacri, added: “This transaction strengthens the market positioning of Cedacri, which becomes part of the ION group, an international fintech company leader in the development of software and data analysis for large financial institutions, central banks and large corporation. The goal is to create an even more solid and strong company, firmly embedded in a global network, combining the value of our distinctive skills with a greater strategic and operational dimension. A notable progress achieved thanks to the fundamental contribution of FSI which, being the largest shareholder, has accompanied Cedacri with great competence and passion in the growth and transformations of recent years “.
Cedacri had been looking for an industrial partner for some time in view of a subsequent listing (see here a previous article by BeBeez) and ION’s interest in Cedacri had been known since last December (see here a previous article by BeBeez). The Pignataro group has beaten the competition of various suitors among which it is said there were Engineering Ingegneria Informatica spa, controlled by Bain Capital, NB Renaissance and participated by NB Aurora; the multinational consultancy company Accenture and the Milan-listed business information group Cerved.
Ion Investment Group, based in London,is leading provider of software, data and analytics for financial institutions. Since its foundation in 1998 it has also grown with acquisitions. Specifically, since 2004 it has conducted 26 acquisitions for a total enterprise value of 10 billion dollars. In May 2019, for example, it bought from BC Partners and GIC, the Singapore sovereign fund, the control of Acuris, the media group to which the well-known providers of information and data on the world m & a and debt capital market Mergermarket, Debtwire, Unquote belong. and Asia Venture Capital Journal (see here a previous article by BeBeez). In November 2017, on the other hand, ION, together with Carlyle, had recapitalized Dealogic, a well-known data provider on the international m&a market (see here the press release at the time). Last December, Ion listed its Spac ScION Tech Growth I on the Nasdaq, after having raised 500 million dollars from investors (see here a previous article by BeBeez).