Rhône announced today that it has agreed to sell its remaining 17.6% ownership stake in Unieuro S.p.A, the publicly-listed Italian leader in the distribution of consumer electronics and household appliances. The sale marks the final monetization event for Rhône and its investors, following the significant transformation of the company into Italy’s omni-channel market leader, which Rhône led in partnership with management and the founding Silvestrini family.
The net proceeds amount to approximately €45 million, deriving from the sale of 3.5 million common shares of Unieuro S.p.A. at a price of €13.25 per share, bringing the total proceeds from Rhône’s investment in Unieuro S.p.A. to approximately €202 million since its initial public offering (IPO).
Following the acquisition from the founding Silvestrini family and under Rhône’s ownership, Unieuro evolved from a regional, single-channel family owned retailer into a publicly-traded industry leader and the only integrated omni-channel consumer electronics retailer in Italy. Today, the company operates approximately 520 direct and affiliated stores across Italy, a strong digital platform and e-tailer Monclick. Through new organic store openings and M&A, Unieuro led the consolidation of the Italian consumer electronics market, growing sales from €277 million at the time of the Rhône acquisition to nearly €2.2 billion today.
“We are proud of the partnership we have built with CEO Giancarlo Nicosanti Monterastelli and the rest of the management of Unieuro, as well as the founding Silvestrini family, and the market leadership that the company has achieved under our ownership is a testament to the quality of its management team and the result of the success of our active ownership model,” stated Gianpiero Lenza, Managing Director of Rhône. “While Unieuro operates in a challenging sector, the company has demonstrated steady and profitable growth under all market conditions and has set the standard for the industry through strong management, strategic growth initiatives and a sound balance sheet. It has been a remarkable journey and a great outcome for Rhône and our investors.”
Giancarlo Nicosanti Monterastelli, CEO of Unieuro, added, “Rhône has been the consummate partner, working closely with our management team for over a decade to build and improve our business. With their support and guidance, Unieuro has strengthened its governance, improved operations and consolidated the market to finally achieve the leadership of our industry. We are poised for continued success executing on our current strategy and grateful to Rhône for their role and active support in helping us get here.”
Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Mediobanca – Banca di Credito Finanziario S.p.A. (“Mediobanca”) acted as Joint Bookrunners on the transaction.
About Rhône Group
Rhône was founded in 1996 by Robert F. Agostinelli and M. Steven Langman following their successful careers in cross-border mergers and acquisitions with Goldman Sachs and Lazard. With over 20 years of investing experience, Rhône Group and its affiliates comprise a global alternative investment management firm with over €5 billion in assets under management. The firm focuses its private equity investments in market leading businesses with a pan-European or transatlantic presence and global growth opportunities. Rhône, which is currently investing capital from its fifth private equity fund, has invested in a diversified portfolio of companies including those in the chemical, consumer product, food, packaging, industrials, specialty material, business services and transportation sectors.
Unieuro is the Italian leader in the distribution of consumer electronics and household appliances, thanks to an omnichannel approach that integrates directly operated stores (about 250), affiliated stores (about 270) and the unieuro.it digital platform. The company is based in Forlì , has a central logistics hub in Piacenza and has a staff of about 5,000 employees. Listed on the STAR segment of the Italian Stock Exchange since 2017, Unieuro reported revenues of €2.1 billion in the fiscal year ended at 28 February 2019.