On the collapse of the Nexi stock, the brand of the Five Stars

There is a Nexi case on the stock exchange, which involves the market and politics. The collapse of the stock of the company known for the pos we use when paying with cards or ATMs weighs on the portfolios of large and small shareholders. In the last year the stock, which was worth more than 19 euros, has halved (yesterday 8.8 euros). In terms of capitalization, the company has lost 10 billion in value.

Banca Mediolanum put pen to paper whether it is something that goes beyond the turbulence affecting the entire financial sector: in the press release of the half-year published last Wednesday it wrote that the decline in net profit for the period (from 268 to 237 million) occurred “solely because of the Nexi stock held in the portfolio measured at fair value”. In other words, Mediolanum, which has less than 1% of Nexi in its portfolio, devalued the stock at current prices, recording an accounting deficit of approximately 40 million. For the Doris bank, the stake in Nexi derives from the twenty-year stake in Sia, the payment technology company incorporated by Nexi in 2021. At the time of the Nexi-Sia merger, that historic tiny investment for Mediolanum recorded a record value of over 70 million. which, however, revised a year later, crumbled and no longer reflects reality. Enough to require the devaluation. The signal that reaches the market is a strong one, implying an unlikely recovery in prices within a reasonable time.

But what’s happening to Nexi? According to the sources of the newspaper, there are two issues. The first is the high debt, around 5 billion, accumulated with the many acquisitions made by Nexi since 2016 and discharged into the consolidated after the merger with Sia and the Nordic group Nets. The second is that having many private equity funds in their capital (those that have participated in the growth and mergers of recent years), they remain potential large sellers. By doing so, they profitably return from the investment: this is what has been happening since the post-merger listing last January. Therefore, on the market, possible institutional investors prefer to wait for a phase of stability (which is not yet seen) before returning to buy Nexi shares. The company is doing well, has good fundamentals, respects the targets, but it is over-indebted and therefore does not pay dividends (even though Nexi was very generous with its partners before the marriage with Sia) and with the growth of rates it will always be worse: before investing, even in multiples that are currently cheap, managers want certainty about the end of the volatility linked to sales.

In the capital of Nexi the foreign private funds present are Hellman & Friedman with 19.9% ​​(USA); Mercury 9.4% (UK); Eagle 6% (USA); Ab Europe 4% (Luxembourg); Gic Capital 2.1% (Singapore). Italian shareholders are Intesa, with 5.1%, Poste with 3.5% and above all Cdp which, with 13.5%, was in fact the director of the Nexi-Sia operation. And it represents the political side of the matter.

The great Nexi was born under the Five Stars of the Fabrizio Palermo management, the former CEO of Cassa appointed with the Conte Uno government, in July 2018. And it is in that same political climate that the current number one has moved his pawns by Nexi Paolo Bertoluzzo, considered close to the Casaleggio family and former M5S minister Riccardo Fraccaro. Bertoluzzo is the architect of the transformation of Carta Sì into Nexi, then of the listing on the stock exchange, following which he collected 43 million as a result of the conversion of warrants, resulting in the highest paid manager of 2020. And finally he was the driver of the merger with Sia, through which it obtained top armor plating until 2025.

According to rumors, in July Bertoluzzo was called by the head of the CDP, Dario Scannapieco, to find out about Nexi’s performance on the stock market. Although for Cassa the problems on equity are quite different (see Ansaldo or Saipem). But that’s another story.

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About Eric Wilson

The variety offered by video games never ceases to amaze him. He loves OutRun's drifting as well as the contemplative walks of Dear Esther. Immersing himself in other worlds is an incomparable feeling for him: he understood it by playing for the first time in Shenmue.

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