Iccrea Banca and FSI to create BCC Pay, a new Italian digital payments player
Rome – Milan, January 31st, 2022
Iccrea Banca, the parent company of the Iccrea Cooperative Banking Group (“Iccrea Banca”), and FSI signed a strategic partnership aimed at developing BCC Pay, a new player in the e-payments sector in Italy. BCC Pay is the e-payment company of Iccrea Banca with about 4 million payment cards, over 200,000 POS, and about € 50 billion in payment transactions.
The agreement provides for FSI and Iccrea Banca to hold respectively, 60% and 40% of BCC Pay. The transaction is based on a valuation of up to € 500 million (including a deferred component up to € 50 million) and is subject to the authorization of the competent Authorities. Closing is expected by summer 2022.
The business will be led, as CEO, by Fabio Pugini, current General Manager. BCC Pay will benefit from a solid starting financial position, and the widespread local network of Iccrea Banca. The FSI Team will support the company with its industry knowledge and track-record in building large Italian fintech companies.
The Italian e-payments market is growing and is significantly below average European penetration levels. The partnership is an Italian independent venture that will focus on: (i) extension of product offerings and continuous improvement of service levels; (ii) innovation and digitization; (iii) commercial focus on Iccrea Banca banking network needs; (iv) enlarging its customer base.
Iccrea Banca is the largest Italian cooperative banking group, the fourth largest banking group in Italy by assets (with about € 175 billion assets) and the third by branches, with 128 affiliated BCC Banks in over 1,700 Italian municipalities and more than 2,500 branches. The agreement includes a long-term distribution agreement between BCC Pay and Iccrea Banca banking network.
Upon completion, the transaction is expected to increase BCC Iccrea Group capital ratios of approximately 60 bps on a consolidated basis and about 350-375 bps [at the holding company level].
With capital commitments of € 1.4 billion, FSI is one of the three largest European funds focused on a single country and the largest Italian private equity fund. FSI has a long-standing experience in fintech, and in supporting transformational growth of invested companies.
“We are very pleased of this partnership. We want to continue to invest in innovation, technology, and infrastructures with a top-quality partner like FSI – commented Mauro Pastore, General Manager of Iccrea Banca – This transaction will allow the Iccrea Banca banking network to better support customers and shareholders, through higher offer quality and payments security. As the largest Italian cooperative banking group, we have the task to promote technological changes and offer our customers the best available services”.
“We are delighted to form a long-term partnership with the third Italian banking network. This investment – comments Maurizio Tamagnini, FSI’s CEO – confirms the role of FSI as the leading investor in Italian fintech, a sector in which we have invested around € 600 million in the past four years. Digital payments are at the heart of banks’ transformation and will continue to grow thanks to new products and increased penetration”.
Iccrea Banca was advised by Prometeia and Legance Avvocati Associati (Rome Team). FSI was advised by KPMG (Corporate Finance Team and Deal Advisory Team), Gianni & Origoni and Studio Biscozzi Nobili Piazza.
The Iccrea Cooperative Banking Group is the largest Italian cooperative banking group, the only one to be owned entirely by Italian capital, and the fourth Italian banking group in terms of assets with about € 175 billion. As of today, the Group is composed by 128 BCCs, located in more than 1.700 municipalities with more than 2.500 branches, and other banking, financial and instrumental entities controlled by the parent company BCC Banca Iccrea. As at June 2021, Group BCCs have registered throughout the Italian territory € 93 billion of gross loans and about € 140 billion of total funding (direct and indirect), with more than 3 million customers and 833 thousand shareholders. On the same date, the Group has a CET1 Ratio of 16.5% and a TCT of 17.2%.
FSI (staging-new.fondofsi.it) is an independent management company managing “FSI I”, an Italian Growth Private Equity Fund with capital commitments of about € 1.4 bln. It is backed by leading institutional Italian and international investors, including the European Investment Fund (EIF) through the European Investment Bank (EIB), sovereign wealth funds of Middle East, Far East, and Central Asia, asset managers, European insurance companies, banks and family offices of large industrial groups.
FSI targets investments in Partnership with Families and Corporates in mid-market Italian companies with growth potential through a differentiated investment formula. The FSI investment formula is based on a moderate recourse to leverage and targets the objective of creating value through organic growth and acquisitions, sector consolidation, and succession management. FSI pursues both minority investments with active governance rights and majority investments.
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