CVC bets on Italian financial services

The UK-based group is to buy Cerved, which was carved out from a group of Italian banks by Bain Capital and Clessidra in December 2008.

CVC Capital Partners has agreed to buy Italian credit information provider Cerved for €1.13 billion from Bain Capital and Clessidra.

Bain and Clessidra acquired Cerved in December 2008 for $688 million, Private Equity International reported at the time, carving it out from a group of Italian banks. The business was then integrated with Lince, another Italian financial and credit information provider that Bain had bought in 2006. Cerved was 80 percent owned by Bain, with Clessidra holding the remaining 20 percent.

Cerved provides credit and business information to more than 30,000 clients, including 90 percent of Italian banks, according to a statement. The business holds a database of corporate information in Italy which includes corporate and financial details, payment history, customer and supplier relationships. Cerved has 1,020 employees and had revenues of €292 million in 2012.

Both Bain and Milan-based Clessidra – which made the investment in Cerved from its €1.4 billion Clessidra Capital Partners II, a 2008 vintage – did not respond to PEI’s request for comment as of press time.
CVC, which also did not immediately respond to requests for comment, said in the statement that Cerved has “demonstrated the ability to grow through a most challenging economic environment”. During its period of ownership, CVC aims to internationalise the business as well as maintain growth in Italy, it added.

CVC was advised by Deutsche Bank and Bain Capital and Clessidra were advised by HSBC. Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and HSBC provided financing for the transaction, which remains subject to the usual competition clearances.
CVC will be targeting €10.5 billion for its sixth European fund, CVC European Equity Partners VI, this year, according to PEI's in-house database PE Connect.