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UniCredit partner of choice for Italian M&A transactions - with prominent roles in three acquisitions in just one week

UniCredit partner of choice for Italian M&A transactions - with prominent roles in three acquisitions in just one week

UniCredit has been the partner of choice for Italian acquisitions, by supporting three major transactions in prominent roles last week. All these successes highlight once more the expertise and outstanding position of UniCredit in one of its core markets and are another important step to establish the bank as a pan-European winner.

 

Terra Firma disposal of RTR to F2i for EUR 1.3 bn - On 26 July, Terra Firma Capital Partners has entered into an agreement to sell RTR, the Italian solar energy platform, to F2i, the Italian infrastructure fund for EUR 1.3 bn. The closing of the transaction is expected in the fourth quarter of 2018.

 

UniCredit advised Terra Firma in a highly competitive and structured process involving more than 60 buyers and requiring almost one year of preparatory work for client and advisors.

 

The deal represents the largest solar energy transaction in Italy ever and one of the largest transactions in the European solar energy sector. Through this transaction F2i strengthens its leadership in the Italian solar energy sector reaching more than 800 MW of installed capacity, building on its current presence through EF Solare Italia (JV with Enel) which is the current market leader with 394 MW installed capacity. The origination of the mandate was achieved leveraging on UniCredit's unparalleled energy track record in Italy.

 

Commenting on the transaction, Pietro Rey, Global Head of Corporate Finance Advisory at UniCredit, said: "We are delighted to have supported Terra Firma during this landmark transaction in the solar energy sector. Renewable is core for the growth strategy of the energy sector and there is high potential of further M&A activity in Europe. Our advisory expertise and long-standing experience in the sector, both in Italy and Europe, ensures we remain committed to deliver our expertise to our core clients"

RTR is the leading independent solar photovoltaic platform in Italy with more than EUR 130 mn EBITDA in 2017. Terra Firma initially acquired the small portfolio of solar energy assets which became RTR in 2011. Since then, under Terra Firma's ownership, RTR has completed a series of bolt-on acquisitions and more than doubled its production capacity, from 144 MW in 2011 to 334 MW across 134 production sites today.

 

Amplifon's acquisition of Gaes Group for EUR 528 mn - UniCredit successfully supported Amplifon in the acquisition, fully debt-funded, of the Spanish based company GAES Group, the largest privately-owned specialty hearing care retailer worldwide.

 

UniCredit underwrote 100% of the Acquisition Financing for a final Enterprise Value of EUR 528 mn, acting as Sole Underwriter, Sole Bookrunner, Global Coordinator, MLA, Hedge Coordinator and Facility Agent. The completion of the transaction, subject to approval of the Antitrust Authority, is expected by the end of fourth quarter of 2018.

The transaction marks a very important achievement for UniCredit and reinforces even further our close relationship with a key client in one of our core markets.

 

Commenting on this transaction, Alfredo De Falco, head of Corporate & Investment Banking Italy at UniCredit said: "Our role in supporting this landmark acquisition is a great example of our strategy to remain extremely close  to our clients as they evolve. For several years we have supported Amplifon with a wide range of financial solutions and it was natural to stand alongside the company for its international expansion, providing both our expertise and the necessary financial support for Amplifon's next phase of growth. This transaction further strengthens our position as a reference bank for corporate customers in our core countries ".

 

Amplifon is a global leader in the hearing care retail market which employs 14,000 people worldwide through a network of over 10,000 points of sale in 21 countries and 5 continents. For Amplifon this major acquisition represents a key milestone and perfectly fits with Amplifon's growth strategy, consolidating further their global leadership and enabling them to become market leader in Spain.

 

UniCredit advised Mediaset and financed F2i/Mediaset consortium in the voluntary cash tender offer on EI Towers - UniCredit advised Mediaset and financed F2i/Mediaset consortium in the voluntary cash tender offer on EI Towers at EUR 57 per share valuing the company approx. EUR 1.9 bn.

 

The transaction envisages a joint takeover bid with Italian infrastructure fund F2i SGR through a new vehicle, 2i Towers, owned by Mediaset and F2i with a 40% and a 60% stake respectively.

 

The completion of the transaction is subject to, inter alia, an offer take up above 90% of EI Towers share capital and approval of the Antitrust Authority, expected in the fourth quarter of 2018.

 

UniCredit through a well-coordinated M&A Advisory and Financing approach acted as: exclusive M&A advisor to Mediaset and as Global Coordinator of a EUR 1.160 mn acquisition financing to the bidding entity and issuer of the cash confirmation letter for the offer. UniCredit's roles are the result of a strong relationship with Mediaset and F2i.

 

EI Towers is the owner and manager of main Italian network for the transmission of the TV signal (over 2,300 towers) and a network for the transmission of mobile telephone services (over 1,100 towers) including a fiber optic backbone of over 6,000 km serving its infrastructure. This transaction allows Mediaset to focus on its core business of free-to-air television and the company to become an independent operator positioning more effectively in the upcoming consolidation process in the tower sector.