BS Private Equity will retain a 20% stake in Società Trasporti Combinati (STC), an Italian short sea transportation group, following a secondary buyout of the group by Star Social Responsible Fund, a medium-size close end fund sponsored by Efibanca Palladio Finanziaria. The transaction values the company at around €35m. The management team will retain a 21% stake in the business. BS Private Equity has realized an IRR of over 45% over a three-year period, a cash-to-cash ratio above three and a capital gain on cost of €14m.
BS Private Equity originally backed the management team in 2000 as part of the buyout from the company’s founders. Under its ownership the company went through a significant phase of expansion attaining turnover growth of 11% over the last three years as well as a strong improvement of the operating performance with EBITDA up 75% since the time of the original buyout.
STC operates mainly in France, Italy and the Maghreb (Tunisia, Morocco, Libia and Malta). The business comprises four companies based in Italy, France, Morocco and Tunisia with a consolidated turnover of €35.5m in 2003. Over the last year EBITDA has grown from €6.9m to €7.8m and the EBIT from €5.2m to €5.8m. The group is led by Fabrizio Bertacchi and employs around 120 members of staff.