Andrea Pignataro, who is the pivot of Ion who will break Cerved and Cedacri

Andrea Pignataro, who is the pivot of Ion who will break Cerved and Cedacri

Double blow of Andrea Pignataro's Ion fund (Italian passport, operational heart between England and Ireland, financial head in Luxembourg): first the purchase of Cedacri and then the takeover bid on Cerved. Facts, numbers and insights

Double blow of the English Ion fund headed by Andrea Pignataro (Italian passport, operational heart between England and Ireland, financial head in Luxembourg, from where he controls the Ion fund).

In a few hours, the fund completed two significant transactions in Italy: it bought Cedadri and launched a takeover bid on Cerved .

Cedacri and Cerved are two nerve centers in the economic-industrial-financial data of Italian companies.

In fact, Cedacri is the Italian company specializing in IT outsourcing services for the banking sector and Cerved is the company that collects and processes data from the Chambers of Commerce.

Ion first took over the Cedacri group, together with Maurizio Tamagnini of Fsi, for 1.5 billion. And yesterday it launched a takeover bid on Cerved through an Irish subsidiary controlled by the English fund (the majority of which is in a Luxembourg vehicle).

THE MOVES OF PIGNATARO

But let's see who Pignataro is, who in these two operations is in symbiosis with the FSI fund in the part of a minority shareholder. In fact, Ion di Pignataro with the Fsi group led by Maurizio Tamagnini and the Gic fund of Singapore have launched an offer of 1.85 billion on Cerved.

THE MOVE OF ION AND FSI ON CERVED

Ion and shareholders will pay a consideration of € 9.50 per share, equal to a premium of 34.9% compared to the official price of the shares as at March 5, 2021 and 43% compared to the arithmetic average of the last twelve months: yesterday the stock closed at € 9.61 (+ 19.9%), above the takeover bid price.

WHO LAUNCHED THE OPA ON CERVED

But who formally launched the takeover bid? “The offer – remarked Il Sole 24 Ore – is promoted through Castor Srl, controlled by Castor Bidco Holdings, in turn controlled by FermIon Investment Group. In the vehicles, the majority will be of Ion Capital and Fsi will also invest in a minority (150 million in convertible financial instruments), as an Italian partner of institutional support. This is the second operation, after Cedacri, of Fsi together with Ion: demonstrating the ability of the Italian fund to create national champions of the digital economy. The Singapore Gic fund is also a minority partner ”.

WHO ARE CERVED'S CURRENT SHAREHOLDERS

Cerved's current shareholders with more than 3% are Wellington with 5.077%, Massachusetts Financial with 4.1%, Kayne Anderson Rudnick with 3.064%, MutuiOnline with 3.015% and Giancarlo Broggian with 3%.

THE WEB OF SOCIETY IN LUXEMBOURG

"Through another Luxembourg vehicle, Itt, Pignataro holds almost 90% of Ion Investment group and 100% of Ion Investment Corporation, an Irish company headed by companies such as Fidessa (producer of trading software), Acuris (portals of financial news) and Dealogic (data provider on the m & a market) ”, reads Mf / Milano Finanza .

WHO IS ANDREA PIGNATARO

Born in Bologna, 50 years old, Pignataro is little known outside the specialized markets, Mf wrote weeks ago, and from London they confirm that "he has always maintained a very low profile".

“Highly confidential, uncontacted by journalists, despite being at the top of an international financial intelligence group, he has never given an interview to a newspaper in his life. Indeed, in circulation on the Web there are rare photos that portray him ”, wrote today Carlo Festa in the Sole 24 Ore .

“Pignataro is a member of the advisory board of the Politecnico di Milano, he supports the Normale and the Collegio Sant'Anna of Pisa; he lives between London, Milan and New York and has various real estate investments, including a luxury resort in Canouan in the Caribbean ”, reads today's Repubblica .

THE BUSINESS OF PIGNATARO

Before founding Ion Investment Group 22 years ago, he was a bond trader at the Solomon Brothers investment bank. "Whoever has had anything to do with him – wrote the economic-financial newspaper of the Class group – describes him as a motivated, determined and resolute person, and some people who have worked with him have portrayed him as' a workaholic 24 hours on 24 '". He lives in a house of his own in Belgravia, an elegant central London neighborhood, and in 2017 he made himself known for his direct involvement in a real estate development in Canouan, a Caribbean island that is part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Also according to Mf , Pignataro has invested in a luxury estate that he is looking to transform into an exclusive trendy resort. Exactly two years ago thanks to a newco based in Dublin, Kojima Limited, set up with Conor Clinch and Ashley Woods, two other managers of Ion Investment, he instead bought 58.5% of Macron, the Bolognese company that produces clothing sports technician and who in the current Italian Serie A championship has become a reference brand by dressing the teams of Bologna, Hellas Verona, Lazio, Sampdoria and Udinese.

WHAT IS IT AND WHAT IT DOES ION INVESTMENT GROUP

As Carlo Festa (journalist of Sole 24 Ore ) recalled on his blog a few days ago, Ion Investment Group is based in London and specializes in software, data and analysis for financial institutions. Since 1999, the year in which it was founded, it has made numerous acquisitions, often leveraged. Since 2004, he has conducted 26 acquisitions for a total enterprise value of $ 10 billion and in 2019 bought Acuris from BC Partners and Gic. This financial news company is headed by information and data providers such as Mergermarket and Debtwire Mergermarket, Debtwire, Unquote and Asia Venture Capital Journal. In 2017, however, along with Carlyle, Ion had recapitalized Dealogic, which provides data on the international market for mergers and acquisitions.

The latest acquisition, for an unknown amount and which the British Competition and Markets Authority gave the green light on 10 November, is that of Broadway Technology, a software and applications company in the financial field.

But how does Ion work? It employs permanent capital and invests only in fintech, “with a very focused approach on product and technology, considered the true sources of sustainable comparative advantage”. In fact, it “operates with the logic of private equity, acting with the speed and flexibility typical of these investors”. Unlike private equity, however, the Pignataro group invests in its subsidiaries by operating "profound transformations in such a way as to allow to rethink the business model and the product portfolio of the companies in order to be better positioned to seize the opportunities offered by the progressive digitization of the company. 'economy".

According to Mf , Ion Investment serves more than 7,500 clients worldwide and generated revenues of over $ 1.9 billion in 2019. In addition, it owns and manages a global portfolio of software and data solutions for managing the processes of financial institutions, central banks and corporations that power the functioning of the international capital market. From 2017 to today, Ion's Irish parent company has paid dividends of € 195 million to entities controlled by Pignataro.

It should be remembered that Ion listed on the Nasdaq the spac ScION Tech Growth I of which Pignataro is executive president and Mathew Cestar, who previously held the role of Co-Head Investment Banking and Capital Markets in EMEA at Credit Suisse, is CEO and director . ScION Tech Growth I aims to sell 50 million shares at a price of $ 10 each or $ 500 million. Each unit will consist of a portion of common stock and a third of a warrant, exercisable for $ 11.50. This is a structure similar to that of the spac promoted by Investindustrial and listed on the NYSE in December. Proceeds from the listing of ScION Tech Growth I will be used to invest in technology, software and fintech companies with strong market position, leading products and global development potential.

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EXTRACT FROM AN ARTICLE OF THE REPUBLIC ABOUT PIGNATARO:

Pignataro, 50 years old born in Bologna, has always been a model student since he attended classical high school.

After graduating in Economics and a PhD in Mathematics from Imperial College London, he began his career at Solomon Brothers as a bond trader.

His first job on the markets led him to invent the software for a trading platform, around which in 1997 he built an empire specialized in fintech, the Ion Investment, which today is worth around 20 billion dollars.

From 2005 to today, Ion has bought 28 companies, launched two SPACs (the last one in December on the Nasdaq), creating a group of 7,500 people and 1.5 billion gross margin per year, with which it continues to finance leveraged operations.

Pignataro is a member of the advisory board of the Politecnico di Milano, he supports the Normale and the Collegio Sant'Anna of Pisa; lives between London, Milan and New York and has various real estate investments, including a luxury resort in Canouan in the Caribbean.

Those who know him describe him as a workaholic, without a secretary, very reserved: in his residences, including a house in the Belgravia neighborhood of London, there is never a name on the doorbell.

Although he mostly travels in his own private jet, he is said to have a simple life. Among his passions there is art, it seems that he has a decent collection, these too duly guarded, far from exhibitions and exhibitions.

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EXCERPT FROM AN ARTICLE BY MF ABOUT PIGNATARO AND HIS SPIDER WEB OF SOCIETY IN LUXEMBOURG:

Born in Bologna in 1970, Pignataro chose Luxembourg as the stronghold of his empire built on financial data. In the Grand Duchy, according to documents consulted by MF-Milano Finanza , there is Bessel Capital, the holding company to which all the manager's activities in Ireland and abroad belong.

Through another Luxembourg vehicle, Itt, Pignataro holds almost 90% of Ion Investment group and 100% of Ion Investment Corporation, an Irish company headed by companies such as Fidessa (producer of trading software), Acuris (news portals financials) and Dealogic (m & a market data provider).

However, various investments in Italy are also directly or indirectly attributable to Bessel Capital. First of all, the safe holds the entire capital of Immobiliare Punta Rossa, a company based in Milan and real estate assets that at the end of 2019 were worth over 80 million euros. Through another holding company, Bessel Capital also indirectly controls three other Italian limited liability companies active in the real estate sector and also based in the Lombard capital.

Furthermore, Ll Investments di Pignataro is a 50% shareholder of Piga srl ​​alongside the Lagfin of the Garavoglia family, owner of Campari. Piga srl ​​owns 10.3% of La Nave di Teseo, a publishing house founded by Elisabetta Sgarbi, whose shareholding also includes Guido Maria Brera di Kairos, Carlo Pontecorvo di Ferrarelle and Sia Blu di Giacaranda Caracciolo.

Finally, in March 2019, Ion bought 58.5% of Macron, a company from Valsamoggia (Bologna) specialized in technical-sports clothing and sponsor of various Serie A teams including Bologna, the club in the hometown of Pignataro.


This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/economia/andrea-pignataro-cerved-cedacri/ on Wed, 10 Mar 2021 09:09:34 +0000.