Closing expected in February 2016
Euler Hermes, the worldwide leader in trade credit insurance, and EOS, the international provider of financial services, announce a signature agreement signed on Friday, 18 December 2015, with CRIF, a global company providing credit information services, credit and software solutions, headquartered in Bologna, Italy - for the share purchase of Bürgel Group (Bürgel).
100% of the shares will be transferred to CRIF. Currently Euler Hermes holds 50.1% and EOS 49.9% of the joint venture. The share purchase agreement is subject to the standard conditions precedent. The closing of the deal is expected in February 2016.
Bürgel is one of the leading German business information companies with a 130 year track record and currently employs around 500 staff in Germany. CRIF and Bürgel are already business partners in Austria, Switzerland and various other markets. Established in 1988, CRIF has an important international presence, operating in 50 countries across four continents with more than 2,000 employees. The company pursues a growth strategy, mainly through the acquisition of companies in various markets in the last years. The current shareholders will continue their long standing business relationships with Bürgel in the future.
“With CRIF, Bürgel and its employees have found a strategic investor and a new home,” said Ron van het Hof, CEO of Euler Hermes Germany. “CRIF is our ideal candidate and will ensure continuity at Bürgel. The company is one of the leading business information companies with a strong international background. The expertise of CRIF and Bürgel are a perfect match and the new shareholder opens up new growth opportunities to Bürgel. In this way, the company is optimally positioned for the future and all parties benefit from that.”
Both, Euler Hermes as the largest B2B customer as well as EOS will maintain their business relationship with Bürgel and continue to bank on the expertise of the company.
“EOS will continue its cooperation with Bürgel,” stated Klaus Engberding, Managing Director of EOS Group and responsible for Germany. This is a clear signal to the market, the customers and the employees.”
CRIF continues its long-term growth and expansion strategy. In 2011, the business information group has purchased the operations of Deltavista in Switzerland and Austria.
“We have already been partnering with Bürgel in the last years in Austria and Switzerland so we are honored to have Bürgel as the newest member of the CRIF family - said Carlo Gherardi, President and CEO of CRIF -. Therefore, we already know the quality of Bürgel’s information: the integration of CRIF and Bürgel solutions will provide added-value to the market, through a unique and powerful set of advanced services to support more efficiently and effectively clients’ needs. For this reason it represents a further step in CRIF’s global strategy to strengthen its leading positioning in the global market ”.
UniCredit Bank AG acted as financial advisor to CRIF in this transaction.
Euler Hermes is the global leader in trade credit insurance and a recognized specialist in the areas of bonding, guarantees and collections. With more than 100 years of experience, the company offers business-to-business (B2B) clients financial services to support cash and trade receivables management. Its proprietary intelligence network tracks and analyzes daily changes in corporate solvency among small, medium and multinational companies active in markets representing 92% of global GDP. Headquartered in Paris, the company is present in over 50 countries with 6,000+ employees. Euler Hermes is a subsidiary of Allianz, listed on Euronext Paris (ELE.PA) and rated AA- by Standard & Poor’s and Dagong Europe. The company posted a consolidated turnover of €2.5 billion in 2014 and insured global business transactions for €860 billion in exposure at the end of 2014.
The EOS Group is one of the leading international providers of customized financial services. Its core business is receivables management. With its workforce of more than 8,500, EOS provides security through customized services for its approximately 20,000 customers in over 25 countries worldwide through more than 50 subsidiaries. Together with an international network of partner companies, EOS Group offers its customers resources in over 150 countries on all continents. The key target sectors are banking, insurance, utilities, telecommunications and IT companies.