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Italy – UK firm offers €500m for Bplus

By - 19 July 2013

Eaton Gate, an international investment fund based in London, has submitted an offer of around 500 million euros for the acquisition of 100 per cent of Italian concessionaire, Bplus. Eaton Gate is part of a group that includes two other large private equity funds, one American and one Australian.

Bplus is the Italian market-leading operator of slot machines but is being forced by the Italian gaming monopoly, AAMS, to relinquish its gaming concession in Italy following a preliminary statement of the Prefecture of Rome. The statement relates to the involvement of the major Bplus shareholder, Francesco Corallo, in the investigation of Milan prosecutors into the funding granted to key entrepreneurs by Banca Popolare di Milano at the time of Massimo Ponzellini.

Bplus, which is currently operating on a six months extension through to September 20, 2013,  employees 300 people, which would be safeguarded if the foreign investment bid from Eaton Gate were to be successful. “The preliminary offer presented to Bplus is about five times the company’s Ebitda in 2012” according to Christian Tirabassi of Ficom Leisure, industrial advisor .

The acquisition plan now in the hands of of the current owners of the concessionaire, is seen as a guaranteeing the continuity of the current level of business, tax revenue, and the confirmation of ongoing business relationships with operational partners.

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