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REFILE-Italy's Cerved sees further acquisitions after $1.8 bln IPO
June 9, 2014 / 5:46 PM / in 3 years

REFILE-Italy's Cerved sees further acquisitions after $1.8 bln IPO

(Refiled to add sourcing in fourth paragraph)

* Italy’s Cerved eyes 1.3 billion-euro market value in IPO

* CEO says will consider small acquisitions, cut debt

* Shares in business information provider to debut June 24

MILAN, June 9 (Reuters) - Italian business credit data provider Cerved aims to go on growing with mainly small acquisitions, its chief executive said on Monday, as it prepares for its initial public share offer which it expects to value the firm at up to 1.3 billion euros ($1.8 billion).

“We have a very interesting track record, we have always integrated companies and we want to continue to do so, especially in Italy,” Gianandrea De Bernardis said on the first day of the IPO’s roadshow of presentations.

“We are not talking about enormous deals, but (acquisitions) that bring synergies and carry no risks,” he said adding that the first operation could be carried out by the end of the year.

The Milan-based company was set up in 1974 and after a series of acquisitions of brands such as Databank and Lince it has become a business which it said generated a revenue of 313 million euros last year and employs more than 1,100 people.

Investors will be offered up to 84 million new and existing Cerved shares at a price of between 5 and 6.5 euros apiece, giving the company a free float in the market of at least 43 percent of its shares.

Under the sale its private equity owner CVC Capital Partners will reduce its stake to 56.9 percent from 100 percent or to 50.8 percent if a greenshoe option to sell more shares is exercised.

Cerved was bought by CVC early last year from private equity peers Bain Capital and Clessidra for 1.13 billion euros and is one of a dozen Italian firms in the process of listing as they seek to take advantage of improved financial market conditions after years of economic stagnation.

The government of Matteo Renzi is considering tax breaks for companies planning initial public offerings to make the Milan bourse more attractive and encourage alternative ways of funding, a government source said separately on Monday.

Cerved will raise around 250 million euros of fresh cash in the offering to cut its net debt, which stood at 730 million euros at the end of March, a level analysts said was too high.

De Bernardis said after the IPO net debt would be down to below three times its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) from 4.7 times currently, allowing the company to cut its annual debt financing costs by around 27 percent to 39 million euros.

A CVC official said on Monday during the IPO presentation the fund aims to gradually cut its holding to zero by the end of 2017. ($1=0.7345 euros) (Reporting by Elisa Anzolin; Writing by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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