Paper mills

Fedrigoni next to transfer?


According to what one learns from the largest Italian daily newspaper, Il Corriere della Sera (local edition of last 3rd October), the Fedrigoni group, paper giant with a revenue of 977 million in 2015, is concluding transfer negotiations of 100% of its shares to the Benetton family’s Edizione Holding and to Andrea Bonomi’s Investindustrial. Details of the due diligence are not available, but it seems that there is substantial agreement, both on the figure offered and on its governance, which should ensure a certain continuity, at least in the early days. The Italian paper group, led by the Chief Executive Officer, Claudio Alfonsi and presided over by Alessandro Fedrigoni, has for some time been looking for a partner able to ensure the growth of the company, even in the absence of generational handovers. Amongst the various initiatives, there has also been the attempt to be listed on the Stock Exchange. The idea was to become a public company with a float of more than 50% able to support an industrial development project abroad. The listing never happened, but the acquisitions have, however, been made in Europe and the Americas with the support of banks. Last year the Benettons had put forward an offer, coupled with the Singapore Temasek fund, but the operation ran aground because of the price: 500 million offered were refused by Fedrigoni who was counting on a value of around 700 million. Furthermore, in the spring of last year, there was also an attempt by the investment company, Charme, belonging to the Montezemolo family, whose acquisition plan was judged too much in debt and therefore rejected. Finally here is Andrea Bonomi who wants to target the purchase from Fedrigoni, together with the Benettons. His family boasts of great experience in the paper sector, given that in the 1970s he managed companies such as Papelera Espanola, Sarrio and Saffa.