Three PE Firms Bid on Italy’s Cerved

MILAN (Reuters) – Three binding offers will be made for Italian business information company Cerved by an Oct. 20 deadline, sources said on Friday.

The bids will come from private equity funds Bain Capital, Italy’s Clessidra and Britain’s Bridgepoint Capital Ltd., said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The offers will be delivered to sale advisers Banca Leonardo and Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz). Those involved in the sale process declined to comment.

Cerved supplies corporate and business information, collecting data from Italian chanbers of commerce. It had earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of 69.8 million euros ($95.79 million) in 2007.

Cerved is 85 percent owned by Centrale dei Bilanci with the rest held by France’s Coface.

Centrale dei Bilanci is owned by UniCredit (CRDI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) with 22.6 percent, Intesa SanPaolo (ISP.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) with 24.5 percent and Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) with 12.6 percent. The Bank of Italy has a stake of 8.9 percent.

Bain owns Italian business data banks Teamsystem and Lince.

(Reporting by Massimo Gaia; Editing by David Cowell)