November 20, 2019 / 11:47 AM / 16 days ago

Intesa in talks with payments group Nexi over potential deal

(Reuters) - Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI) said on Wednesday it was in preliminary talks with payments group Nexi (NEXII.MI) over a possible strengthening of their existing commercial partnership.

FILE PHOTO: The Intesa Sanpaolo logo is seen in Milan, Italy, January 18, 2016. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

Earlier on Wednesday Il Messaggero reported that Intesa was in talks with Nexi to take a 30% to 40% stake in the company.

Italy’s biggest retail bank said any deal would not require the lender to launch a takeover offer for Nexi.

Nexi confirmed talks with Intesa but said there were no further details of any potential deal. Nexi also denied that Intesa would take a 30% to 40% stake.

Nexi’s shares were up more than 3%, while Intesa Sanpaolo’s were down slightly at 1130 GMT.

Nexi, which floated in Milan in April this year, already has a commercial partnership with Intesa in card-payment services.

Bain Capital, together with Advent International and Clessidra, owns a 60.1% stake in the company via investment vehicle Mercury UK.

A lock-up agreement, signed at the time of Nexi’s listing last April, expired in mid-October.

“From an industrial point of view the operation would make sense for Nexi and significant synergies could be generated (from the deal),” investment bank Equita wrote in its daily research note.

“From a financial point of view it is not possible at the moment to make an assessment as the data for the Intesa acquiring (unit) is not public,”

Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi, additional reporting by Giancarlo Navach, editing by Giulia Segreti and Jane Merriman

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