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EXCLUSIVE – Mediobanca takes an interest in Messier Maris investment bank

According to our information, the Italian bank is discussing an entry into the capital of the mergers and acquisitions house of Jean-Marie Messier and Erik Maris.

Jean-Marie Messier and Erik Maris, the founders of the investment bank Messier Maris et Associés, are approached by the Italian Mediobanca.

Mediobanca, the Italian investment bank, wants to regain a foothold in France. And not through the back door. According to our information, the group led by Alberto Nagel has proposed an alliance at the house of mergers and acquisitions of Jean-Marie Messier and Erik Maris. “Discussions are at a preliminary stage. The plan envisaged is a gradual rise of Mediobanca in the capital ”, indicates a source close to the case. Its ultimate goal is to “Grow in France as in Italy with the buyout of the activities of Barclays, in Switzerland with its 69% of RAM Active Investments as well as in England with Cairn Capital (51%)”.

If the operation is successful, Messier Maris & Associés could be valued around 160 million euros according to current estimates, indicates another source. Asked by “Les Echos”, the Italian banking group declined to comment, as did the Paris investment bank.

Mediobanca changes his tune

Since 2004, Mediobanca has struggled to gain a foothold in France, despite major operations (Luxottica merger with Essilor, sale of Sanef to Abertis, sale of Nice airport to the State). The Milan investment bank has thus experienced several departures: Marc Vincent, Philippe Deneux, who had come from Barclays, or even Emmanuel Moulin, former adviser to Nicolas Sarkozy who left last May to head the cabinet of Bruno Le Maire.

Supported by UniCredit and the Bolloré group, its first shareholders, Mediobanca has therefore ended up changing its tune: the bank at the heart of Italian capitalism has found it faster and more efficient to grow by acquisition.

Messier Maris on the rise

The investment bank Messier Maris, which has been on the rise since 2010 against Rothschild and Lazard, is the perfect target. This year, it completed the sale alongside Goldman Sachs of the Dobble games (Asmodée) for 1.2 billion euros, the sale of the manager Idinvest and its 8 billion euros of assets to Eurazeo. She further advised the State in discussions between Areva and EDF.

Correspondent in Rome