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Italian IPO and Private Equity Developments examined at Mergermarket Italian Forum

Milan – 30 October 2014 – Mergermarket, an independent mergers and acquisitions intelligence and data service, is hosting its Italian M&A and Private Equity event today. The forum inspects the current trends in the Italian M&A market and provides a future outlook on deal activity. It will look at the recent boom in European deals and whether those provide a new dawn for M&A.

M&A activity in Italy has been increasing for three consecutive years, totalling €24.1bn in the first three quarters of 2014, up 27.2% from the same period last year 2013 (€19bn) and just 8.3% away from matching 2013’s annual total (€26.3bn). The country saw the announcement of 33 more deals during Q1-Q3 2014 compared to the same time last year – 272 deals were announced during this period in 2014, up from
239 last year, and represented the highest Q1-Q3 level of deal count since 2008 (347), according to Mergermarket data.

“Despite the uncertainty and the volatility of the public markets and the low growth of the country, Italy still remains an attractive market for M&A,” said Giovanni Amodeo, Global Editor in Chief at Mergermarket. “Apart from the expected wave of M&A expected in the banking system in the next few months, Italy is likely to see more activity in the core industrial and consumer sectors. Privatizations, non-core disposals and small multinational companies will drive M&A going forward.”

Francesco Gianni, Senior Partner, Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners, said: “We have been involved in several landmark transactions both in M&A and Private Equity, and from this standpoint, we can confirm that there has been a sharp increase in the activity, especially during the first six months of the year. This trend is due to several factors, including the programs that the Government is carrying out in terms of privatizations and restructuring of its presence as a shareholder, a more intense flow of investments coming from abroad and the always growing role played by private equity funds, not to mention an increasing appetite for international investments that Italian companies are showing”

Gianandrea Perco, Partner, Corporate Finance, PwC, said: “Italy is getting back on track due to wider systemic stability along with an improving outlook for the future. The recently completed asset quality review tests, which have been largely in-line with long formed market expectations, add further clarity to the prospects of the Country. In this context, new opportunities for debt specialists like debt funds and the so-called “MiniBond” are coming under the spotlight and looking very promising.”

Recent Mergermarket data shows that the increase in the Italian M&A value was mainly due to a very positive Q3, which saw the announcement of 86 deals valued at €13.9bn experiencing a significant 95.5%
increase compared to the same period last year (€7.1bn). This was an even more impressive 123.2% jump over Q2 2014 (€6.2bn) as Q3 registered the highest third quarter value since 2007 (€15.5bn).

The Italian M&A and Private Equity forum hosts an ECM ‘Riding the IPO wave’ panel, providing a future outlook of the activity in Italy. According to Dealreporter’s proprietary IPO pipeline, 32 Italian companies have been identified as potential IPO candidates for the end of 2014 – 2015 timeframe, of which 13 are in the consumer sector.

Several postponed deals which were due to go ahead in 2014 – such as Fedrigoni or Favini – fill in the IPO pipeline for 2015. The privatisations of Poste Italiane and ENAV are also likely to be two of 2015 highlights.

Alessandra Castelli, Editor at Dealreporter, concludes: “The IPO market in Italy is changing, with windows varying quickly. Although 2014 has seen an increased interest in the IPO market, many companies have recently pulled or decided to postpone their IPO plans. The market sentiment towards IPO is also changing, with investors becoming more and more cautious and selective on their investments.”

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