CRIF spa, the Bologna-based group specializing in the banking credit information sector and one of the main international operators in integrated business & commercial information and credit & marketing management services, has issued a new 12-year bond worth 45 million euros which was fully subscribed by Pricoa Private Capital (Prudential Financial group, see the press release here), as part of the $ 125 million shelf facility agreement signed in 2016 (see here a previous article by BeBeez). This issue follows the 30 million euro bond of April 2020, again with a 12-year maturity (see here a previous article by BeBeez). The first issue under the agreement with Pricoa dates back to July 2016 and had been for 50 million euros (see here a previous article by BeBeez).
Greenberg Traurig Santa Maria supported CRIF as legal advisor while Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld was legal advisor to Pricoa. Deutsche Bank’s Trust & Agency Services Team played the role of agent bank.
CRIF is the leading provider of banking and credit information on the European continent and one of the world’s leading players in integrated systems of commercial and business information and credit management and marketing. Founded in Bologna in 1988, today it operates on four continents. In 2020 the consolidated turnover of the group grew to 567 million euros from 557 in 2019 with an ebitda down to 26 millions from 108 millions in the previous year, but in the presence of 119 million euros of investments in 2020 (from 90 million in 2019) and all this despite the complexities deriving from the pandemic.
The proceeds from the new securities will help support the group’s 350 million euros investment plan for the three-year period 2021-2023. The new investments will concern new services, including open banking globally. At the same time, to support its growth path, the company has recently launched the hiring plan which provides for 380 new resources in 2021 alone, of which 150 in the Italian offices of the group, after the 220 already added globally in 2020.
Carlo Gherardi, ceo of CRIF, commented: “Despite the pandemic, CRIF has continued its development path and confirmed its growth and investment plans on a global scale, further accelerating the expansion of the offer of innovative solutions in the field digital and for open banking. This private placement gives us the opportunity to continue to diversify the sources for the development of our investments of 350 million in 2021-2023. Specifically, the Shelf Facility that we signed with Pricoa Private Capital confirms the high solidity of CRIF, which allows us to issue a bond on international markets, specifically in the US, even in such a delicate phase “.
Finally, we remind you that CRIF is a regular investor in startups, in particular in the fintech sector. Last February the group entered the capital of the startup factory FoolFarm, which had just closed a 2 million euros round (see here a previous article by BeBeez). A few days earlier CRIF had announced the investment in the Neva First fund, the first venture capital fund launched by Neva sgr (see here a previous article by BeBeez), the new venture capital fund management company into which was transformed last January Neva Finventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Intesa Sanpaolo (see here a previous article by BeBeez). Last January, CRIF also invested in the we.trade platform, with which it also signed a strategic alliance (see here a previous article by BeBeez) and closed an agreement with AideXa, the new fintech bank dedicated to small businesses founded by Roberto Nicastro and Federico Sforza (see here a previous article by BeBeez). In November 2020, CRIF and American Express then signed an open banking partnership with the aim of accelerating the digital transformation of consumer and business customers (see here a previous article by BeBeez).