Bain acquires bank to grow Italian NPL business

The deal will give the fund manager a larger presence in the NPL servicing market in Italy.

Bain Capital Credit has acquired Hypo Alpe Adria Bank from the Austrian government, which owned the firm via its HBI-Bundesholding vehicle.

The deal will see the bank rebranded as Julia Portfolio Solutions. The new entity will focus on the serving of third party non-performing loan portfolios. Bain said the acquisition strengthens its strategy presence in the Italian NPL sector.

Historically the firm had operated in the banking sector, but shifted its focus to credit and real estate portfolio management. It was originally part of Hypo Alpe Adria Bank International, which was acquired and nationalised by the Austrian government in late 2009 to prevent a bank collapse. In 2014 it was split into a bad bank and two other subsidiaries, one of which was the Italian business Hypo Alpe Adria Bank.

Julia Portfolio Solutions will be led by Alfredo Balzotti as chairman and Federico Di Berardino as general manager. Balzotti has 25 years’ experience in finance, real estate management and distressed debt management. He is also managing director and general manager of Bain’s Italian NPL platform, Aquileia Capital Services.

Berardino joined Hypo Alpe Adria Bank at the end of 2013 and has spent the past four years coordinating its overall activities in credit, legal and regulatory affairs.

The firm has 75 employees and an initial portfolio under management of €400 million. It will focus on NPL servicing in the corporate sector, particularly real estate leasing, and will act as Bain Capital Credit’s captive platform in Italy.

RCCD and Linklaters provided legal advice for the deal, while Mediobanca acted as financial advisor. EY acted as financial advisor to Julia Portfolio Solutions. Pirola Pennuto Zei & Associati provided tax advice while AgFe, Deloitte and EY provided financial advice to Bain Capital Credit.