Sinclair Capital will not tender its shares in Cerved to ION Group

MILAN, April 15 (Reuters) - Sinclair Capital will not tender its shares in Italy’s Cerved under a buyout offer ION Group is about to launch because the price is not adequate, founder Massimo Stabilini told Reuters, the first investor to express a view on the bid.

ION Group proposed a 1.86 billion euro ($2.2 billion) takeover bid for Italian credit analysis and management group Cerved in March, just days after the privately-owned fintech company snapped up Italian banking software provider Cedacri.

“We expect that the board will not recommend the offer,” Stabilini said. “We think other players could show interest in the group,” he added.

London-based fund Sinclair Capital owns less than 1% of Cerved.

Cerved’s board must wait for publication of the offer’s official prospectus before expressing an opinion.

Stabilini said the bid price was too low, considering that Cerved’s credit management division alone could be sold for 400-500 million euros.

He added that the price did not take into account the potential efficiencies with Cedacri and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Cerved’s stock price in the past year.

ION said it would pay 9.5 euros for each Cerved share, a 43% premium to the average price in the 12 months before the offer was announced.

Sinclair, an alternative investment company with more than $100 million assets under management, is focused on M&A-driven opportunities.

$1 = 0.8356 euros Reporting by Elisa Anzolin; Editing by Kirsten Donovan