Italian banks sell stake in SIA
The group of banks holding a controlling interest in SIA, the Italian payments processor and systems developer, have reduced their ownership in a sale to a consortium of investment funds led by Fondo Strategico Italiano.
The transaction puts a value of €765 million, approximately eight times expected earnings for 2013.
FSI will pay €204 million for a 42.3% stake in SIA plus € 77 million in debt financing. Two other funds, F2i and Orizzonte, will purchase 10.3% and 6.7% respectively.
The consortium will acquire the stakes from Intesa San Paolo, Unicredit, Monte dei Paschi di Siena and Banca Nazionale del Lavoro. Banca Intesa and Unicredit will remain shareholders of the company with a total 8% interest.
Founded in 1977 by the Bank of Italy, SIA designs, creates and manages technology infrastructures and services for financial institutions, central banks, public administrations and businesses in the areas of payments, e-money, network services and capital markets.
It manages approximately 69 million payment cards and processes approximately 30 billion payments and capital markets transactions per year. The company operates several critical services for financial institutions, central banks and public administration. SIA manages the platforms for the MTS trading and Monte Titoli post-trading. MTS is the platform of Borsa Italiana for wholesale dealing in fixed income securities (government e not government) and in particular in Italian government bonds.
In partnership with telecommunication vendor Colt, SIA is one of the providers of the access network for Target2 Securities.
“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 digitalisation of Public Administration,” said Maurizio Tamagnini, chief executive of FSI.
“From today, SIA enters a new phase which, in taking forward what has been accomplished up to now, opens up fresh opportunities for growth at domestic and international level”, said Massimo Arrighetti, chief executive of SIA, commenting on the acquisition of 59.3% of the company by FSI, F2i and Orizzonte. “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”.