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CVC looking at Nexi but no bid in the works-source

by Uma
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2023 10 18T075837Z 1 LYNXMPEJ9H0C4 RTROPTP 4 NEXI IPO

CVC looking at Nexi but no bid in the works-source

By Elisa Anzolin and Valentina Za

MILAN (Reuters) -A potential deal targeting Italian payments group Nexi is one of several options being studied by CVC Capital Partners, but the private equity firm is not preparing to file an offer, a source close to CVC said on Wednesday.

Shares at Nexi trimmed gains after the Reuters report and were up 13% at 1100 GMT. The shares had opened up 17% after Bloomberg reported late on Tuesday that CVC was in the early stages of mulling a potential offer for Nexi, Europe’s largest payments company by volume of transactions.

CVC has had no contact with Nexi over a possible bid, the source said. A second source confirmed there had been no contacts on the matter.

Nexi shares had lost 22% this year, adding to a 47% drop in 2022 and stoking speculation about potential takeover interest.

With shares in the company well below the 2019 listing price of 9 euros, buyout firms have studied take-private deals in the past, which have not materialised.

By 1100 GMT, shares in Nexi traded up around 13% at 6.50 euros, compared with a record low of 5.25 euros a share hit earlier this month.

Shareholders include private equity firms Hellmann & Friedman, which became an investor when Nexi merged with rival Nets in a deal completed in 2021, as well as Advent and Bain which had brought it to the market four years ago.

The presence of shareholder funds which will eventually need to liquidate their investment and the depressed share price have fuelled persistent speculation about Nexi’s future.

However, the Italian government is also a shareholder in the group, through state lender CDP which owns 13.6%. The post office Poste Italiane also owns 3.5%.

The government has powers to block any unwanted sway over a company such as Nexi, considered of strategic national interest.

(Reporting by Elisa Anzolin and Giancarlo Navach; Writing by Valentina Za and Keith Weir, editing by Cristina Carlevaro and Gavin Jones)