Cerberus Capital Management and its affiliates ("Cerberus"), a global leader in alternative investing, today announced an agreement to acquire a 57% share of Officine CST SpA, a leader in Public Administration ("PA") credit management.
Headquartered in Rome, Officine CST provides integrated credit management services to large enterprises such as banks, institutional investors, utilities, and multinational companies, as well as small and medium sized enterprises. The company manages over €16 billion in claims and employs 150 people in Italy.
Cerberus agreed to acquire a controlling stake in the company from founder and chief executive officer Gianpiero Oddone and other shareholders. Mr. Oddone will continue as CEO and remains a shareholder with a 28% stake. Roberto Nicastro, senior advisor to Cerberus, will be the non-executive chairman.
Cerberus has an extensive track record of investing in credit, private equity, and real estate in Europe. Since 2010, Cerberus has invested over €40 billion in transactions with leading European financial institutions. The firm is the largest investor in European non-performing loans ("NPLs") and real estate owned ("REO") assets since 2013. In Italy, Cerberus has acquired or been awarded secured and unsecured NPL and REO portfolios with a gross book value of over €5.5 billion, and approximately 400,000 loans with a purchase price in excess of €1.6 billion.
Founded in 2004, Officine CST operates in the origination, analysis, assessment, certification, management, non-recourse transfer, and recovery, in and out of court, of large credit portfolio amounts. The company is a leader in managing Public Administration credit certification processes. Since inception, Officine CST has managed over 8 million invoices, issued by approximately 8,000 companies in several Italian Regions. The company began with an initial focus on National Health Service credits. In 2009, it expanded its services to include Public Administration, both local and central, and the corporate credits market, also operating with the PCC (Credit Certification Platform of the MEF), and supplying the Master Legal services (full, highly automated outsourcing of legal credit management).
In 2012, Officine CST expanded into unsecured, non-performing loans owed to utilities by the private sector (companies and individuals), and secured non-performing loans, owed to banks by their customers. Since 2017, Officine has been managing Crediticertificati.it, a digital marketplace for the divestment and monetisation of PA credits, including in partnership with various category associations.
Roberto Nicastro, senior advisor in Europe to Cerberus, commented: "Officine CST marks an important direct investment for Cerberus in an Italian operating company that is a platform for future growth. By partnering with Gianpiero and his team, we believe Cerberus can help advance the company's goal of helping enterprises efficiently manage credits due from the Public Administration. Officine CST has grown quickly thanks to the quality of its service. This will be absolutely central to its next stage of growth and is an area where Cerberus intends to invest more."
Gianpiero Oddone, CEO of Officine CST commented: "Cerberus becoming a strategic partner and investor is a great chance to accelerate our growth and further develop our technological platform to service both large companies and small and medium-sized enterprises. This partnership and investment will enable us to strengthen our competitive position and achieve our potential. This is particularly important today, given the considerable challenges facing credits with the Public Administration due to lengthy bureaucratic processes."
Vitale & Co. served as financial advisor, and Lombardi, Segni e Associati served as legal advisor to Cerberus. GOP served as legal advisor to Officine CST.