Selling assets

Fedrigoni: new negotiations to sell its controlling share

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Rumors reported by the most important Italian financial paper Il Sole 24 Ore in its issue of June 2 last, says that the Investindustrial investment company is about to buy the Fedrigoni paper company from the Veneto region following an alliance with Edizione Holding owned by the Benetton family. The Fedrigoni Group, run by its managing director Claudio Alfonsi, had already held several negotiations for the sale of the paper company in the past; however these negotiations were always interrupted due to the excessive debt in the offer, as well to the extremely low evaluation of the company. The same Edizione Holding tried to take over the company last summer, however it was not possible to come to an agreement on the price as the Edizione Holding evaluation was about 500 million Euros, while the controlling shareholder of the company, i.e. the family from Veneto, had asked for 650-700 million Euros. Well before that, the Charme investment company controlled by the Montezemolo family had attempted to purchase the paper company, however Charme’s operation was considered to be a maxi-leveraged buyout, i.e. too much debt-reliant. The Fedrigoni family would namely like to sell their company to a player who maintains the group’s current economic situation, without increasing the group’s indebtedness. The Bonomi family that is heading Investindustrial has extensive experience in the sector, as it run companies like Papelera Espanola, Sarrio and Saffa in the 1970s. Fedrigoni, with an annual paper production of 450 thousand tons and turnover of over 800 million Euros, has an anticyclical business: besides its traditional activities, like the production of paper for catalogues, Fedrigoni ranks among the suppliers of the European Central Bank for the printing of euro banknotes, but it also produces rupees, yuan and papers for cheques and passports thanks to the technologies developed by Cartiere Miliani in Fabriano, which were acquired by the Italian Printing Works, Stationery Office and Mint (IPZS – Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato).

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