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05/08/19 11:19

MSC-Messina transaction is no longer certain

SGA submitted a (60%) offer for Carige's receivable: Aponte's entry into the Genoese group's share capital might be prevented, or its terms may change

SGA – the financial broking company belonging to the Italian Ministry of Economy and dealing with the management and recovery of non-performing loans – submitted an offer to Carige for the purchase of the Genoese bank's receivable (recorded in the balance sheet for 515 million) from the shipping-terminal group Messina for 305.8 million.

The news was reported by the newspaper il Sole 24 Ore, in an article focusing on the transaction being carried out to relaunch the credit institution. The transaction provides also for the reduction of the bank's NPE (Non Performing Exposures) portfolio. SGA's offer is described in an internal document to update the NPE strategy of the Genoese bank.

Said document calls into question what Carige itself announced last December about Messina's exposure, when it revealed an agreement between the two parties (and the other banks exposed with the Genoese group) for its restructuring. Said agreement – Carige explained – "provides for a gradual capital reimbursement within a plan based on the expected recovery of the market, of the shipping company's operating profits and of the activities related to the Genoese Group".

In order for Messina to be removed from the NPE portfolio, the shipping group should have "carried out a capital increase by introducing new financial resources, and MSC Group – belonging to the Aponte family – should have entered its capital". In the following months, the transaction between Messina and MSC seemed to be waiting only for the Antitrust authority's approval. However, the Italian Competition and Market Authority (AGCM) has not yet announced the initiation of the preliminary investigation.

This caused Carige to keep its receivable from Messina in its NPE portfolio, thus exposing it to SGA's offer, on which the bank will have to resolve upon by the end of September.

In fact, this will probably put into question also the entry of Gianluigi Aponte's group into the capital of the Genoese group.

Regardless of SGA's intentions related to Messina's debt (the purchase price is 60% lower than the balance sheet value), MSC may not accept to conclude a transaction other than that agreed upon at the end of 2018.

On the other hand, MSC may decide to outdo SGA with an higher offer, which would grant it control over Messina.

In any case, both scenarios would change the prospects and the possible assets of the Genoese group radically.

 

Andrea Moizo

 

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