San Donato Milanese - Snam has signed an agreement with the funds managed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities ('Blackstone') for the purchase of a strategic stake of approximately 33% of Industrie De Nora SpA ('De Nora '), a global innovator in sustainable energy and water treatment technologies, based on a 100% enterprise value of approximately EUR 1.2 billion.
The acquisition, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021 following the relevant antitrust authorizations, will take place with own funds.
De Nora, an Italian company founded in 1923, offers companies sustainable solutions for various industrial processes and has significant growth prospects thanks to its exposure to two mega-trends in the energy transition, in particular the production of green hydrogen and water treatment. As for hydrogen, De Nora's strength derives from leadership in the production of electrodes for electrochemical industrial applications. The company has a consolidated position in numerous sectors: in particular, in the recent past it has launched a new generation of electrodes, essential for increasing the performance and competitiveness of hydrogen produced through alkaline electrolysis.
Thanks to the technological leadership in electrodes, the distinctive skills in electrochemistry and the consolidated supply chain, De Nora can benefit from the strong growth expectations of the sector and contribute to decarbonisation, at the same time making the production of hydrogen increasingly competitive in economic terms through electrolysis of water.
In synergy with the electrodes business, De Nora holds a 34% stake in ThyssenKrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers (TKUCE), one of the world leaders in the development, assembly and installation of alkaline electrolyzers and in the production of chlorine and caustic soda. TKUCE's alkaline electrolyser technology is used in several large global hydrogen projects.
De Nora also collaborates with operators in the fuel cell sector and in particular since 2016 with AFC Energy Plc, a British manufacturer specializing in alkaline fuel cells.
De Nora is also a global leader in technologies for water treatment (disinfection and filtration) and cathodic protection, both businesses subject to potential synergies with Snam for the activities of the subsidiary Snam4Environment, active in biomethane and in environmental and water services, and for gas transport.
The acquisition allows Snam to increase its technological positioning to be increasingly competitive in new projects for the development of hydrogen. Alkaline electrolysers are complementary to membrane electrolysers in which ITM Power, a company with which Snam has recently signed a partnership, specializes.
The transaction also allows both companies to benefit from their respective market positioning: Snam will be able to leverage De Nora's commercial presence and skills in the value chain; at the same time, Snam's position along the hydrogen value chain will be able to support De Nora's commercial development.
De Nora generates revenues of over EUR 500 million per year (60% in electrodes, 40% in water treatment), with an EBITDA expected to be around EUR 90 million in 2020 and an average growth (CAGR) of 8% in the last three years. The company is controlled by Federico De Nora.
Based on the agreements that will be finalized upon completion of the transaction, Snam will be able to appoint three directors of De Nora and will be present in the company's new technical and strategic committees, with the possibility of seconding its own staff.
De Nora is ideally positioned to become a highly technological, international listed company in the medium term and represents a potential prime asset for a new investment platform in the energy transition. The goal of this new platform, which will be launched in 2021, is to respond to the growing interest in the energy transition and decarbonisation. The platform will focus on a limited number of mature companies at the forefront of energy innovation and exposed to the mega-trends of the energy transition and decarbonization.
Snam would be anchor investor of the platform, increasing, through this new initiative, its exposure to companies and projects relevant to decarbonisation, with a limited and disciplined financial exposure. The company is committed to maintaining its risk profile and the metrics implicit in its rating and remains focused on its core business.
Snam CEO Marco Alvera commented: 'The strategic partnership with an Italian company of excellence, a global innovator in sustainable technologies and with important development prospects in hydrogen, is a unique opportunity to strengthen Snam's role in energy transition. The partnership with De Nora will allow us to be a leader in the development of green hydrogen, which is becoming a key element of decarbonisation in Italy, Europe and many countries around the world. Thanks to this operation and the new energy platform innovation, we will be able to increase our exposure to new green technologies while remaining focused on our core business, contributing to the achievement of the global objectives of zero net emissions '.
Federico De Nora, president of De Nora, said: 'The Blackstone team has demonstrated excellent knowledge of our business and the market, supporting us in redesigning our organization to achieve significant growth by achieving the solid positioning we have today. excited to start working with Snam, our new minority shareholder, to face the next phase of our history alongside an industrial partner that offers significant operational synergies and with whom we share the commitment to support the global energy transition for a world Cleaner'.
Paolo Dellacha, CEO of De Nora, commented: 'In the last three years De Nora has established itself as a leader in new and existing markets, also in light of the growing global demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions. well positioned to support global investments in decarbonisation through a comprehensive portfolio of high performance electrodes and solutions delivered through our key partnerships with key manufacturers and especially through the strength of our joint venture with ThyssenKrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers' .
Andrea Valeri, Senior Managing Director and President of Blackstone Italy, said: 'Our investment in De Nora stems from Blackstone's successful experience in supporting family businesses in achieving their goals. We are proud to have helped De Nora, a leader in sustainable solutions, to face new arenas such as the energy transition and the hydrogen economy, establishing itself globally as an innovative partner for next generation environmental technologies. We wish the De Nora family, the CEO Paolo Dellacha and to all management every success in their new partnership with Snam, in view of the next phase of development of the company'.
Snam is one of the leading energy infrastructure companies in the world as well as one of the largest listed Italian companies by capitalization. Through its international subsidiaries, it also operates in Albania, Austria, China, United Arab Emirates, France, Greece and the United Kingdom. First in Europe for natural gas transmission network and storage capacity, the company is also one of the main operators in regasification. As part of a EUR 6.5 billion plan by 2023, Snam invests 1.4 billion in the SnamTec project aimed at innovation and development of new energy transition businesses, from sustainable mobility to biomethane and energy efficiency. Snam also aims to enable and promote the development of hydrogen to favor the decarbonisation of the energy sector and industry. The company's business model is based on sustainable growth, transparency, the enhancement of talents and diversity, the protection and social development of territories through the Snam Foundation.
De Nora is a global supplier of innovative technologies and solutions for water treatment and is recognized as a preferred partner for the most important industrial electrochemical processes. Driven by the philosophy of continuous improvement, pursued since its foundation in 1923, De Nora develops and manufactures electrodes and electrochemical systems with high performance, and offers disinfection and filtration technologies and advanced to solve problems related to the treatment of public and industrial water. De Nora is at the forefront of developing unconventional solutions to achieve the energy transition towards decarbonisation, the hydrogen economy and guaranteeing clean water for all. More than 1,600 people work together, with enthusiasm and experience, for a sustainable future.
Blackstone is one of the largest investment firms in the world. The goal is to create a positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies in which we invest and the communities in which we operate. We work with amazing people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our asset management business, with US $ 584 billion in managed assets, includes investment vehicles in private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real asset and secondary funds, on a global basis.
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