Banks sell 59% stake in SIA

Banks sell 59% stake in SIA

The bank owners of Italian payments processor SIA have agreed to sell a 59.3% stake in the venture in a deal valuing it at around EUR765 million.

State-backed fund Fondo Strategico Italiano (FSI) has agreed to pay EUR204 million and provide EUR77 million in debt financing for a 42.3% stake. Infrastructure fund F2i will buy a 10.3% stake and asset manager Orizzonte SGR another 6.7%.

Of the 59.3% stake being sold, Intesa Sanpaolo is offloading 28.9%, giving it a net capital gain of around EUR150 million, while UniCredit is selling 20.1%, for a net capital gain of about EUR140 million. Both are keeping four per cent stakes. Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena is selling its entire 5.8% holding and BNL all of its 4.5% sake.

Founded by the Bank of Italy in 1977, SIA employs around 1500 people and posted revenues of EUR350 million and Ebitda of EUR90 million in 2012. The firm manages 69 million payment cards and processes 30 billion payments and capital markets transactions per year.

Maurizio Tamagnini, CEO, FSI, says: "FSI has invested in SIA with the aim of accelerating penetration of e-payments, improving the support for the management of public debt - through the partnership with Monte Titoli and Borsa italiana - and stimulating the digitalization of Public Administration."

Massimo Arrighetti, CEO, SIA, adds: "This new shareholding structure will place us at the forefront of the transformation taking place in the European payments industry, driven by Sepa and growing competition. On the domestic front, we will continue in our commitment to developing electronic money and realizing the Digital Agenda with our infrastructure and our capabilities".

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