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SIA initial public offering gathers pace

By Lawrence Gash

JPMorgan and UniCredit expected to coordinate

The veteran Italian payments firm SIA is widely expected to choose JPMorgan and UniCredit as the global coordinators for its initial public offering (IPO) this year, according to Reuters.

The listing is set to be one of the largest in Southern Europe in 2020. SIA is already being advised by Rothschild and reportedly hopes to issue shares worth between €1bn and €1.5bn (£0.8-1.2bn, $1-1.6bn). This would value the company at more than €4bn, excluding debt.

The firm has requested proposals from banks for roles organising the deal and will make a decision in the coming weeks.

IPOs in the region have fallen to their lowest point since 2012, despite European stock markets being at near record highs, thanks to quantitative easing and asset inflation by the European Central Bank.

SIA was founded in 1977 by the Italian central bank, the Italian banking industry’s trade association and a group of Italian banks. It provides information technology to the banking and finance sectors as well as financial market platforms and online payment services.

The company now has over 2,000 employees, with revenue of more than €560m and core earnings of more than €200m. Although private, it is still controlled by the state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, which owns a 57 per cent stake through its investment arm FSIA Investimenti.

The decision to list publicly for the first time follows recent activity in the payments sector. Last year First Data Corp, Worldpay and Ingenico were acquired for multi-billion dollar sums.

SIA will hope to replicate the performance of its regional rival Nexi, which listed in 2019 and now trades at almost 17 times its expected core earnings at almost double its initial share price.

FURTHER READING: Worldline buys rival Ingenico in €7.8 billion deal

FURTHER READING: Burger King in Venezuela starts first Bitcoin payments

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