Bain, Clessidra buy Italian data bank Cerved

MILAN Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:10pm EST

MILAN Dec 23 (Reuters) - Private equity funds Bain Capital and Clessidra said on Tuesday they agreed to buy Italian business information company Cerved from a group of banks for an undisclosed sum.

The deal was partly financed with a 275 million euro ($384.9 million) syndicated loan from BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA), Intesa Sanpolo (ISP.MI) and UniCredit (CRDI.MI) Market and Investment Banking, the funds said in a statement.

They did not disclose the full price of the deal but a source close to the operation said the deal would be worth around 550 million euros.

After the acquisition, Cerved will be merged with Bain Capital's unit Lince to extract synergies, the funds said.

The new company will be 80-percent owned by Bain Capital and 20-percent by Clessidra, they said.

"Combining Cerved with Lince allows us to gain important critical mass to be competitive in Italy and to focus on foreign markets from a position of strength," Bain Capital Managing Director Felipe Merry Del Val said in the statement.

The combined group will have revenues of about 240 million euros and earnings before interest, tax, depeciation and amortisaion (EBITDA) of some 100 million euros, with about 30,000 clients in Italy.

The synergies will lead to a double-digit growth of revenues at the combined group, Gianandrea De Bernardis, CEO of TeamSystem Lince, told Reuters. Bain owns Lince through TeamSystem Lince. ($1=.7144 Euro) (Reporting by Danilo Masoni and Irene Chiappisi; Editing by Chris Wickham)

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