Italian Cerved secures $ 2.2 billion offer from ION, Singapore’s GIC
MILAN (Reuters) – ION Group made a € 1.86 billion ($ 2.2 billion) takeover offer for Milan-based Cerved, just days after privately-held fintech firm acquired the Italian banking software supplier Cedacri.
Dublin-based ION, led by Italian businessman Andrea Pignataro, partnered with Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC for the Cerved offering, which boosted the shares of the Italian analytics and research group. nearly 20% credit management in line with the offer price.
ION expects to pay 9.5 euros per share, or a 43% premium on the average share price over the past 12 months.
Cerved declined to comment on the offer.
Shares of Cerved had climbed 14.6% on Monday after the company confirmed talks with private equity funds to sell its bad debt collection business, which was first reported by Reuters this week. -end.
ION’s offer proposal includes financing from the Italian public fund FSI, whose involvement, according to broker Equita, has reduced the risks that the Italian government could intervene with its “golden powers” which allow it to veto agreements in sectors of strategic national interest.
Cerved has long been viewed as a takeover target. In 2019, U.S. private equity firm Advent sought to privatize the company in a € 1.85 billion bid that was abandoned when reports of the approach pushed up the price of Cerved’s action.
ION said in a statement on Tuesday that it is committed to supporting Cerved’s current business plan, leveraging its expertise in the software and data analytics industries, without ruling out an overhaul of operations. of Cerved in the future.
Cerved runs both a credit data analysis and a loan collection business, which it tries to sell after losing a long-term contract with Monte dei Paschi bank and failed to expand the business of the division in Greece.
Under Pignataro, ION has grown through acquisitions, culminating in Cedacri’s € 1.5 billion deal last week.
Previously, ION took a controlling stake in financial reporting firm Acuris for £ 1.35 billion in 2019 and bought trading software company Fidessa for £ 1.5 billion in 2018.
ION is making an offer for Cerved via the Castor investment vehicle, controlled by the FermION Investment group, in which ION holds 85.75% and GIC 10%. Institutional investors hold the remaining 4.25%. The financing of the FSI can be converted into an indirect interest in Castor.
The offer is conditional on Castor obtaining at least 90% of the shares in Cerved, but the threshold condition may be lifted. Cerved will be canceled if the offer is accepted.
Credit Suisse, Intesa Sanpaolo, Sociedad De Valores and Goldman Sachs acted as financial advisers to ION; Cleary Gottlieb and Chiomenti as legal advisers.
Additional reporting by Elvira Pollina and Giulia Segreti; edited by Lincoln Feast, Jason Neely and Jane Merriman
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