Coface has reached an agreement to acquire, via its subsidiary Coface Italia, a 15% stake in Cerved Business Information (CBI), the Italian leader in the business information sector, with a market share of close to 50%. Two representatives of Coface will join its Board of Directors, one of whom will be appointed as Vice-Chairman.

This acquisition in the business information sector will strengthen the position of Coface Italia, already present in Coface’s three other business lines: credit insurance, receivables management and factoring. Coface is gradually rolling-out the four trade receivables management business lines in the 60 countries where it has a direct presence. These four complementary business-lines enable all companies, whatever their activity or size, to maintain tight control over their receivables, i.e. all the 30 and 60-day credits (and sometimes much longer) that they grant their client companies. Coface Italia and Cerved plan to roll out joint offers for their respective Italian clients.

This acquisition will also reinforce Coface’s company information strategy. Coface is already number 1 in the company information sector in France and has a direct presence in this sector in 35 countries. This strategic partnership with the Italian leader will add to the partnerships already signed with the German and Japanese leaders (Creditreform and Teikoku Data Bank respectively). Cerved is likely to adopt the EASY company identification system under development by Coface and Creditreform since 2005.  EASY is a universal identification system, which enables international companies to manage their corporate databases without errors or overlaps.  Source: Company Press Release

BIIA Newsletter April – 2007 Issue