October 29, 2019 / 7:59 PM / 23 days ago

Cerved studying sale or merger for credit management unit

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian credit data and information group Cerved (CERV.MI) said on Tuesday it was weighing up various strategic options for its credit management unit, including a sale or merger.

Last month Cerved hired Mediobanca (MDBI.MI) to advise it on options for its bad loan business as the industry starts to consolidate.

In a statement on its nine-month results, the group said it had started a process “to analyse in detail how to extract value from the division either through a sale or a merger with other players in the sector.”

Italy’s loan recovery industry is in turmoil with players looking to bulk up in the face of slowing disposals by banks after years of massive bad loan sales and regulatory changes.

Italian bad loan specialist Banca IFIS (IF.MI) entered exclusive talks with Elliott-owned Credito Fondiario until the end of October to sell its bad loan collection and purchase businesses.

In the first nine months Cerved reported an 11.6% rise in revenues to 361.1 million euros ($401 million) while its adjusted net income grew 16.3% to 83.4 million euros.

Revenue at its credit management unit grew 29.1% to 128.1 million euros.

The credit and data information group, which has a market value of around 1.6 billion euros, earlier this year caught the eye of buyout firm Advent, which however dropped its takeover bid after news of its offer leaked.

Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro; editing by Stephen Jewkes and David Evans

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