CDP approves the exercise of the option to acquire SACE and SIMEST

Press release

CDP approves the exercise of the option to acquire SACE and SIMEST

Cassa Depositi e Presiti Spa (CDP) announces that the Board of Directors - meeting today under the chairmanship of Franco Bassanini - has authorized the exercise of its option to acquire 100% of SACE Spa and 76% of SIMEST Spa from the Italian State, in accordance with Article 23 bis of Decree Law 95/2012.

Cassa Depositi e Presiti Spa (CDP) announces that the Board of Directors - meeting today under the chairmanship of Franco Bassanini - has authorized the exercise of its option to acquire 100% of SACE Spa and 76% of SIMEST Spa from the Italian State, in accordance with Article 23 bis of Decree Law 95/2012.

The Board has also delegated the Chief Executive Officer, Giovanni Gorno Tempini, to exercise the option to purchase SACE from the Ministry for the Economy and Finance (MEF), and the option to purchase SIMEST from the Ministry for Economic Development. Within 10 days of exercising the option, in accordance with applicable law, CDP must pay the provisional price of €3.8 billion, corresponding to 60% of the book equity of the companies. CDP will also perform all other formalities associated with the transfer of ownership of the companies.

Within 60 days of exercising the option, an MEF decree will specify the transfer price (considered fair by CDP) on the basis of which the adjustment payment will be determined.

The decision taken by the board of directors takes into consideration the valuation of the companies given by financial advisor Morgan Stanley, based on due diligence results conducted by KPMG and legal advisor Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners.

The authorization to acquire the SIMEST stake has already been granted by the Italian antitrust authority (Autorita’ Garante della Concorrenza del Mercato, or AGCM). For the SACE acquisition, the insurance regulator (Istituto per la Vigilanza sulle Assicurazioni Private e di Interesse Collettivo, or ISVAP) has given its approval, while the AGCM has yet to announce its decision.

 

Business rationale for the acquisitions

The operation will create an Italian hub for export finance and support for the international expansion of Italian businesses.

Exporting has always been a key factor in the growth of the Italian economy. Over the last 20 years, exports have contributed more than half of the growth of Italy’s gross domestic product. Nevertheless, there is still room for further improvement that the new CDP-SACE-SIMEST group will be able to exploit.

The acquisitions will strengthen the positive effects of the proven "Export Bank" system, created in 2010 by CDP and SACE, which has resources of up to €4 billion made available by CDP.

As regards export support, the new hub will be able to leverage the synergies between CDP-SACE-SIMEST in funding, in skills in evaluating the creditworthiness of foreign counterparties, and in insurance and international financial services.

Enterprises will benefit from a single access point for financing, rapid response times and the creation of the conditions for the potential future expansion of the services offered.

SACE’s skills will also be utilized to increase the CDP Group’s ability to finance Italian strategic infrastructure projects.

As regards supporting the international expansion of Italian companies, the new group will leverage SIMEST’s expertise to raise equity funding and will benefit from the synergies offered by CDP’s project finance operations and SACE’s international investment insurance.

The acquisition of SACE and SIMEST strengthens CDP’s ability to reach its objectives for supporting the Italian economy, as set out in its 2011-2013 business plan – with resources mobilized equal to around 3% of Italian GDP – strengthening its role in enhancing the competitiveness of Italian businesses.

 

 

Rome, 27 September 2012

 

Cassa Depositi e Prestiti is a joint-stock company controlled by the Italian State, which manages postal savings, representing a significant proportion of total Italian savings, using these funds in accordance with its mission of sustaining the growth of the Italian economy. It is the leader in financing the investments of Italian public entities, promoting infrastructural development and is one of the main players in sustaining the Italian economy and enterprises. 

SACE offers export credit services, credit insurance, protection of investments carried out abroad, financial guarantees, bonds and factoring. Having insured transactions for a value of € 70 billion in 180 countries, the SACE Group supports the competitiveness of enterprises in Italy and abroad, ensuring more stable cash flows and transforming the insolvency risk into opportunities for growth. At the end of 2011, the Group, composed of the parent company SACE and of the wholly owned SACE BT and SACE FCT had equity of €6.2 billion and 689 employees.

SIMEST is involved in promoting the international expansion of Italian businesses by taking equity stakes, providing subsidized credit and capital grants. The value of the equity investments it held at the end of 2011 was equal to €350 million, in addition to a further €250 million held through its venture capital fund. Since 1991, SIMEST has supported some 900 international expansion projects, investing nearly €700 million. In the last three years, it has acquired equity interests of about €60 million per year.

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