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i-Faber acquires Pleiade

-Faber (UniCredit Group) the Company managing the 1City.Biz digital market acquires Pleiade
and enters the sector of Public Administration e-procurement

i-Faber SpA, a company of the UniCredit Group which manages the digital market—one of the leading European players offering services and solutions for supply management— acquired Pleiade, a company operating in the sector of public administration e-procurement.

By means of this operation, i-Faber reinforces its leadership position for the management of Public Administration services: Pleiade is, in fact, the private provider with the greatest number of users in the Italian local Public Administration.

Ever since 2001, Pleiade has, in fact, completed 1,900 electronic transactions on behalf of public entities. In the 2003-2005 period, the company reported a constant growth of revenues—circa 40% per year—and a positive EBIT in 2004 and 2005.

Pleiade is the owner of the Negotia PA and the Mercato Elettronico PA platforms which were both developed for the Italian public administration, in compliance with the complex norms regulating procurement on the part of Italian public entities.
Pleiade applications—which are complementary to those offered by i-Faber through—are capable of managing both the demands of corporate customers as well as those relative to contracts for public works.

Pleiade acquisition — a company which consolidated its leadership position in the sector of reference— brought numerous advantages for i-Faber. In particular, it acquired the professional competencies of Pleiade management —which are acknowledged in the sector—in addition to a series of customers in the Public Administration (there are circa 50 users within the operational application). These include the Tuscany Region, the Provinces of Florence, Mantua, Pisa, Prato, Treviso and Varese as well as the Communes of Livorno, Mantua, Pistoia Siena and Verona—in addition to Foundations, Hospitals and various Universities, including Ca'Foscari of Venice.

The growth of the Public Administration sector represents an additional step in the growth strategy of i-Faber which—ever since its founding in 2002—has grown at an increasing pace and has now become the digital market with the highest liquidity in Italy with transaction values totaling almost 1.1 billion Euro in 2006 from 3,300 completed transactions. More than 500 different typologies of goods and services have so far been negotiated on i-Faber.

The portfolio of customers has also grown significantly over the last few years: there are 390 purchasing companies registered in the market (registered supply companies total 9,700) which—through the use of Internet-based e-procurement services—have considerably increased the efficiency of their procurement processes. They have also benefited from an average 30% expansion in their supplier base and a 50% reduction in transaction times (with peaks reaching 80%), thereby simultaneously attaining economic savings of about 12% (with peaks of 40%) as well as total transparency during the transaction process.

The strengthening of the Public Administration sector through the acquisition of Pleiade, notes i-Faber Managing Director, Paolo Chiaverini, is one of the primary drivers in the growth strategy of the company which aims to expand the range of differentiated and loyalty-building services offered to public and private customers. The Strategic Plan for the upcoming years also aims to expand into reference markets where UniCredit is a market leader, particularly in Italy, Germany and Austria. An additional driving factor for the growth of i-Faber—for the purposes of becoming a global player—has been the implementation of partnerships with local operators, particularly in Eastern European countries—thereby allowing for further expansion of the market share in terms of companies supplying and purchasing the services provided by".

For more information:
AD HOC Communication Advisors 02/7606741
Paolo Mazzoni - Claudio Maccarini