BFF Group and its subsidiary Farmafactoring, a banking group specializing in the management of pharma trade receivables, listed on Piazza Affari and controlled by Centerbridge, confirmed that it had submitted a binding offer to Equinova Uk Holdco for the acquisition of DEPObank spa, half in cash and half in shares (see the press release here). The offer is subject to a series of conditions which must be verified by tomorrow 12 May. The sales process started last November (see here a previous article by BeBeez) and MF Milano Finanza had anticipated Farmafactoring’s interest in DEPObank as early as last December.
Following the merger of the two realities, the shareholder funds of DEPObank would then become Farmafactoring business partners alongside the private equity fund Centerbridge, which, after the recent last sale of shares with an accelerated bookbuilding process, today holds 21.77. % of BFF Group through the Luxembourg vehicle BFF Luxembourg sarl (see here a previous article by BeBeez).
DEPObank is the custodian bank created in July 2018 from the spin-off of the Nexi group and controlled by the private equity Advent International, Bain Capital and Clessidra sgr, through the new holding Equinova UK Holding Limited. DEPObank offers services to over 400 customers, including banks, asset management companies, pension funds, public administration and corporates. It is led by the former liquidator of the Venetian banks, Fabrizio Viola, while Paolo Tadini is managing director and general manager.
Born in July 2018, it inherited all the banking activities of the Nexi Group. In February 2018 the company had announced that the group would be divided into two: on the one hand, within the parent company Nexi spa, the securities services that require the banking license (custodian bank) and, on the other, in Mercury Payment Services (formerly Setefi Payment Services), all payment activities and group subsidiaries focused on payments (see here a previous article by BeBeez).
The operation, in addition to enhancing the two Nexi businesses that have different characteristics, served to speed up the listing process on the Nexi Stock Exchange (see here a previous article by BeBeez) which took place in April 2019 (see here a previous article by BeBeez). As for DEPOBank, born with a patrimony of almost 600 million and free of financial debt, it is the Italian leader in the fund services and transaction services market, with 120 customer banks and 460 million transactions managed every year. An asset that was already said at the time that could have been targeted by international groups, such as Société Générale Securities Services, Bnp Paribas Securities Services or State Street. But that of course it was under the radar of private equity firms specializing in financial services such as Attestor, JCFlowers, Oaktree or SC Lowy. Mediobanca was also said to be supporting one of its potential buyers as an advisor.
In August 2019 DEPOBank announced the signing of an agreement with PrestaCap Holdings sa for the acquisition of control of Cara Services GmbH, which owns the fintech lending platform Prestacap (see here a previous article by BeBeez).