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Italy’s payment services group SIA considers IPO

Italian payment services group SIA is considering an initial public offering (IPO), which could value the company at €3.5 billion (£3.04 billion) according to its chief executive, Nicola Cordone.

He also revealed that SIA currently has €500 million available for two acquisitions in Europe, for which it has been short-listed. Listing the company in Milan would allow SIA to raise around €1 billion in new funds for more acquisitions, said Cordone.

“All our shareholders agree that we need to grow in Europe and they are also considering an IPO,” the CEO told Reuters, adding that they would probably decide by this summer. He confirmed that the company could be valued at not less than €3.5 billion based on an EBITDA of over €200 million at the end of last year.

Europe’s electronic payments market generated revenues of more than €80 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow by 3-5% a year in terms of transactions by 2021, according to McKinsey data cited in a press presentation of SIA’s new plan.

No tie-up with Nexi

SIA is 49.5% owned by Italy’s state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) through investment vehicle FSIA Investimenti. Italian infrastructure fund F2i, in which CDP has 14%, has 17% in SIA. Other shareholders include Italian lenders Banco BPM, Intesa Sanpaolo, Unicredit and Mediolanum and Deutsche Bank.

Cordone said SIA’s board does not envisage a potential tie-up with Italian digital payment specialist Nexi but did not rule out the possibility that SIA shareholders considering closer cooperation in the future. Nexi recently approved the launch of its own IPO process, with a possible valuation of more than €7 billion.

SIA has just announced its latest contract win, having been selected by Payments Canada as the application provider for the country’s new high-value payments system, Lynx.

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