Mediobanca has signed a strategic agreement with the partners of Arma Partners LLP and US Arma Partners LP to join forces in the Digital Economy space. Under the terms of the agreement Mediobanca will acquire Arma to create a leading Digital Economy franchise within the CIB Division.
Arma Partners, the pre-eminent independent financial advisory firm in Europe focussed on companies, investors and entrepreneurs active in the global Digital Economy, provides independent corporate finance advice to leading companies and Private Equity funds throughout the entire corporate lifecycle, from raising private capital for fast-growing founder-led and venture-backed businesses to complex cross-border M&A deals for Private Equity investors and global public companies.
Founded in 2003, Arma Partners is headquartered in London and has offices in Munich, a presence in the US and affiliate relationships with specialist advisory firms in Japan, Australia, Israel, Turkey and Brazil.
Arma Partners is led by its Founder and Managing Partner Paul-Noël Guély and has 12 partners and 86 employees, of which 69 are bankers hailing from 26 countries, with unparalleled domain expertise in each of the diverse sub-segments that together comprise the ever-expanding global Digital Economy. Arma is particularly active in the Software, Cloud Services, Data, Internet and Fintech segments. Over the years Arma Partners has received numerous accolades, including most recently being named as the European Corporate Finance House of the Year at the Private Equity Awards, for the third time in the past four years.
Over the last five years, the Arma Partners team has advised on over 100 completed transactions, c.75% of which were cross-border, with an aggregate value of over $85bn. Arma Partners has established a consistently leading position in the European Digital Economy sector and ranks as the #1 advisor on large European software buyouts. Despite the current slowdown in fundraising activities and softening in the financial markets, in 2023 Arma Partners announced a third consecutive record financial year with revenues in excess of $100m.
The partnership with Arma Partners will reinforce Mediobanca’s advisory capabilities, adding a leading technology practice for the benefit of the client base of CIB and Wealth Management, coupled with increased reach in Europe and in the US. This transaction is consistent with the goal of achieving a capital lighter CIB and will have a material impact on the CIB fees pool, increasing by approximately 30%, and the overall group fee pool, increasing by over 10%.
Arma Partners will continue to be managed - as an independent company within Mediobanca Group – by Paul-Noël Guély who will work in close coordination with Francisco Bachiller and Giuseppe Baldelli, Co-Heads of Global CIB, to leverage Arma Partners’ Digital Economy capabilities across the whole Mediobanca CIB platform.
Mediobanca will pay the purchase price in cash of which 40% at closing in available funds, with the remainder released over 4 years based partly on Arma’s performance, and will have the option to pay the deferred component in Mediobanca shares. The agreement, subject to regulatory approval, will have an impact on Mediobanca’s CET1 ratio estimated at around 30bps on a 100% basis, should the deferred price be released in Mediobanca shares. On the basis of the last financial year earnings, the transaction is EPS accretive.
“Mediobanca has significant experience in partnering with independent financial advisory firms characterized by solid fundamentals, strong management leadership, renowned brands and scalable platforms” – comments Alberto Nagel, CEO of Mediobanca. “The agreement with Arma Partners reflects our ambition to build solid long-term growth leveraging industry trends, core competences and human talent. We are convinced that the unique expertise, complementary business and geographic footprint of Arma Partners is a perfect fit for our common growth strategy and will position Mediobanca Group as a primary advisory house to entrepreneurs, investors, business professionals, CEOs and founders to benefit from the Digital Economy revolution" – concludes Alberto Nagel.
“Arma Partners represents a unique opportunity for Mediobanca CIB division to expand in the fast-growing Digital Economy which is impacting and transforming all our clients. We are very excited that Arma Partners will become a core pillar of Mediobanca’s CIB strategy. Joining forces with Paul and his team will unlock significant expansion in all our geographies across clients and products and create further cooperation opportunities between our CIB and Wealth Management divisions” – Francisco Bachiller and Giuseppe Baldelli say.
“This partnership will allow Arma Partners to achieve its ambitious global expansion objectives. Like us, Mediobanca boasts a distinguished track record of strategic and independent advice, as well as European roots coupled with global ambitions. Our new strategic partners are also very respectful of our independence and relentless focus on the Digital Economy. My Partners, team and I are delighted to join forces with Mediobanca and look forward to the future with great confidence and enthusiasm” – says Paul-Noël Guély, Managing Partner of Arma Partners.
Milan and London, 18 May 2023