Hupac was awarded Novara-based CIM
The Swiss company obtained the shares from the Piedmont Region, thus achieving the majority stake into the interport
Finpiemonte Partecipazioni, the regional holding company that managed the tender, announced that the newco Combiconnect – purposely created by the Swiss intermodal operator Hupac – was awarded the tender for CIM, the company managing the Interport of Novara, for 17.5 million.
The auction base was 17.4 million to purchase the shares held by Finpiemonte Partecipazioni (30.06%) and Sito (13.80%).
Following the ongoing formal checks, the two companies Finpiemonte and Sito will finally transfer the shareholding to Combiconnect. However, Sito, managing the Interport of Orbassano, will remain a state-controlled company since the Piedmont Region decided to postpone the sale of its shareholding until a decision is reached about the creation of the Turin-Lyon high-speed train line.
With this acquisition, Hupac – which already holds shares in CIM and which is the main intermodal operator in the interport – will achieve 47.5% of its share capital.
However it will be able to exercise an option right on shares held by Province (2.65%) and Municipality (16.88%) that are currently subject to a judicial examination and are intended to be sold.
Being one of the prospective purchasers since it is CIM’s main customer and since the structure is complementary to its Busto Arsizio – Gallarate terminal, the Swiss company is likely to exercise its option right. In fact, as the Municipality and Province are entitled to withdrawal rights, in the absence of purchasers their shares should be taken-over by CIM anyway.
Moreover, with these additional shares, Hupac would hold the majority stake, thus strengthening its position not only towards the other shareholder, i.e. Satap within the Gavio group (24.31%), but also towards Mercitalia. The FS group’s subsidiary is a small shareholder (boasting its Managing Director Marco Gosso in its Board of Directors though) of CIM, but it is the majority shareholder of Eurogateway, dealing with handling operations both in the terminal of the Interport and in the neighbouring Boschetto terminal belonging to FS.
Given the long-term relations between Hupac and Mercitalia (from former Cemat to the ongoing Teralp project), they were expected to submit a joint offer, with the awarding of the Boschetto terminal.
However, Hupac acted individually, also in light of the expiration of Gosso’s appointment and of the related uncertainties about the continuation of the Novara relation, which was put to the test by the Eurogateway and Boschetto issues (with regards to the latter, CIM’s option right is due to expire).
Hupac was the only company that submitted an offer.
As a matter of fact, despite their initial interest, Mercitalia, VTE, the F2I fund (and possibly others) did not submit any purchase proposals, probably due to the widespread belief that the price – which included also a 25% premium on the appraised value – would not have attracted offers.