Tag Archives: Corporate Debt Financing / Corporate Debt

Film ERG Italy turns to hydroelectric, gas plant sales: sources | Instant News


MILAN (Reuters) – Italian renewable energy company ERG has started a sale of more than 1 billion euros ($ 1.2 billion) worth of hydropower and gas-fired assets, attracting interest from funds and utilities, three sources told Reuters.

ERG wants to sell assets to reinvest its solar and wind businesses overseas, while maintaining credit stability, one source said, adding a decision has not yet been made whether to sell them separately or as a package.

The Italian company is more than 60% owned by the Italian Garrone-Mondini family and is one of Europe’s leading wind players with an installed capacity of nearly 2 gigawatts.

ERG also operates 527 megawatts of hydroelectric power in Italy which generates a core revenue of 87 million euros and has a gas-fired capacity (CCGT) of 480 MW.

Mediobanca and Rothschild are working on the sale and are starting to send out packages of information, said two sources.

“The non-binding offer is due at the end of April,” one added.

ERG, Mediobanca and Rothschild declined to comment.

Engie, Enel, A2A and Dolomiti Energie are among utilities interested while infrastructure funds such as Ardian can also look around, the first source said.

Hydro assets are attractive and could raise around a billion euros, one source said, although questions remain over the duration of concessions and the fact that factories are concentrated in central Italy.

The gas-fired power plant, located at a refinery in Sicily, could generate between 200 million euros and 300 million euros, the sources said.

($ 1 = 0.8405 euros)

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Edited by Alexander Smith

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Cerved Italia confirmed talks of the sale of its debt collection arm | Instant News


FILE PHOTO: New 100 euro banknotes seen in secret vault inside the Bank of Italy, in Rome 21 May 2019. Image taken 21 May 2019 REUTERS / Yara Nardi

(Reuters) – Italian credit group Cerved Group SPA confirmed talks of selling its debt collection arm in a statement on Sunday.

The confirmation came a day after Reuters reported on the company’s continued discussions with US investment firm Centerbridge for a deal.

“Cerved Group SpA confirms that negotiations are ongoing with private equity firms for the sale of a subsidiary of Cerved Credit Management Group Srl,” the statement said.

The company did not name the private equity firms involved in the talks.

Two sources told Reuters on Saturday that Cerved was in further talks with Centerbridge to confirm the sale of its long-awaited debt collection unit which is worth some 400 million euros ($ 475 million).

Centerbridge is a pioneer in discussions and could reach an agreement in the coming weeks, possibly paving the way for a full takeover of Milan-listed Cerved which has been on the radar screens of some heavyweights buying funds in recent years, the sources said.

($ 1 = 0.8391 euros)

Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Edited by Frances Kerry

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Cerved Italy in continued talks to strike a debt collection arm deal: sources | Instant News


MILAN (Reuters) – Italian credit group Cerved is in further talks with US investment firm Centerbridge to secure the sale of its long-awaited debt collection unit which is valued at around 400 million euros ($ 476.68 million), two sources told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO: New 100 euro banknotes spotted in secret vaults inside the Bank of Italy, in Rome May 21, 2019.Image taken May 21, 2019 REUTERS / Yara Nardi / File Photo

The unit is also attracting interest from Italian real estate and credit management firm Prelios and other private equity funds including Apollo and Apax, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Centerbridge is a pioneer in discussions and could reach an agreement in the coming weeks, possibly paving the way for a full takeover of Milan-listed Cerved which has been on the radar screens of some heavyweights buying funds in recent years, the sources said.

Cerved, Prelios and Apax declined to comment while Centerbridge and Apollo could not be reached for comment.

Cerved, which has a market value of 1.4 billion euros, nearly sold its credit management unit to Intrum, Europe’s biggest loan recovery company, in February 2020 – just weeks before the deadly coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy.

Intrum, which operates in Italy through a joint venture with Intesa Sanpaolo, valued Cerved Credit Management at around 500 million euros during negotiations last year but has since lost interest, the source said.

The coronavirus pandemic is now expected to spark a new wave of disrupted bank lending, reigniting investor interest in the Italian market where forecasts show an estimated 100 billion euros increase in worsening lending by the end of next year.

Centerbridge has extensive credit management experience in Italy where it acquired Banca Farmafactoring in 2015 from Apax and then registered it in Milan the following year.

Prelios, which is owned by Davidson Kempner Capital Management, has emerged as another strong contender for the business, which is ranked as one of Italy’s leading players in non-performing loan management, the sources said.

A former unit of Pirelli Italia group Prelios saw the purchase of Cerved Credit Management as a way to increase its valuation before Davidson Kempner implemented his exit strategy, perhaps with an initial public offering (IPO) on the Milan stock exchange, one of the sources said.

TAKE FULL?

The Cerved unit saw revenue decline by 12.3% from 126,289 euros in 2019 to 110,764 euros in 2020 due to the early termination of its collection contract with Monte dei Paschi in Siena and the impact of the pandemic.

The US private equity firm, Advent, approached a bid in early 2019 to buy all of Cerved’s share capital and make it private in a deal worth about 1.85 billion euros, but negotiations broke down soon after press reports revealed that discussions were underway to boost Cerved’s shares. price.

The source said the sale of Cerved’s credit management unit could rekindle interest from some buying funds that have been monitoring the company as a possible private equity target in recent years.

Cerved’s revenue and revenues fell 2.6% to 351.7 million euros in the nine months ended September 2020, with core revenue falling to 141.8 million euros from 155.1 million euros a year ago.

($ 1 = 0.8391 euros)

Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia and Valentina Za; Edited by Christina Fincher

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Germany sued former manager Steinhoff with balance sheet fraud | Instant News


BERLIN (Reuters) – German prosecutors have filed charges against three former managers at South African retailer Steinhoff for balance sheet fraud, three years after the company first revealed holes in its accounts.

The Oldenburg prosecutor’s office said on Thursday that it had filed charges against the three for allegedly manipulating the balance sheet to include fictitious transactions worth more than 1.5 billion euros ($ 1.8 billion).

The managers, who were not named, were also accused of overvaluing real estate at 820 million euros, investigators said.

Germany’s regional courts must now decide whether to open legal proceedings against managers. Balance sheet manipulation is punishable by up to three years in prison.

Steinhoff, who has operational headquarters in Stellenbosch near Cape Town in South Africa and traces its roots to Westerstede near Bremen in Germany, declined to comment.

Steinhoff first exposed the hole in his account in December 2017, surprising investors who had supported his reinvention from a small South African company to a multinational retailer in the vanguard of Europe’s discount furniture retail industry.

In the country’s largest corporate scandal, an investigation by PwC found in 2019 that the company recorded fictitious or irregular transactions totaling 6.5 billion euros between the 2009 and 2017 financial years.

PwC investigators found a small group of former Steinhoff executives and individuals from outside the company, who implemented the deals, which substantially increased the value of the group’s profits and assets.

The retailer, whose budgeted furniture, clothing and home appliances business spans four continents, is now focused on reducing debt by nearly 10 billion euros by selling off assets and part of its core business, such as the Pepco Group’s potential European listing.

($ 1 = 0.8312 euros)

Reporting by Jan Schwarz, Alexander Huebner and Nqobile Dludla. Written by Caroline Copley. Edited by Emma Thomasson and Mark Potter

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Afterpay Australia explores global records as first-half sales double | Instant News


(Reuters) – Afterpay is exploring additional overseas listings amid growing US investor interest, Australia’s buy-now-pay-later said on Thursday after reporting first-half sales more than doubled.

Fintech Australia and its global competitors such as Klarna, Affirm and Sweden’s Zip Co have seen explosive growth since the pandemic locked in large parts of the world and made more people turn to online shopping.

Afterpay shares have gained more than 1,500% since March, establishing itself as the 12th most valuable company in Australia.

Afterpay also said it raised A $ 1.25 billion ($ 995 million) in convertible banknotes in a complex deal to buy Matrix Partners stock from its US business – which accounts for 43% of its sales. The United States is also a key growth market for the industry where it struggles with fast-growing Klarna.

Klarna, who is reported to be tapping into more private funding, posted his full-year results on Thursday evening.

Afterpay’s legal losses more than doubled to A $ 79.2 million as the strong growth of its UK business pushed the unit’s valuation higher and increased the value of put options held by other companies. Zip also posted a much bigger half-year loss after buying New York counterpart Quadpay.

While Afterpay’s gross transaction loss fell to 0.7% – indicating fewer customers skipping payments – margins also fell slightly to 2.2% from six months ago.

Transactions made through Afterpay totaled A $ 9.8 billion in the six months to December 31, double the A $ 4.8 billion processed last year, supported by strong holiday spending.

Active subscribers jumped 1.9 million to 13.1 million in the three months to December.

($ 1 = 1.2547 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Edited by Forward Samuel

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