Berica PMI Reopens ABS Mart for Italian SMEs

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Banco Popolare di Vicenza priced the 1.8 year, €980 million A1X tranche of Berica PMI within guidance at 240 basis points over the three month Euribor.

The deal re-opens up the public market for Italian SME assets. According to Societe General, which was lead manager on the deal, no Italian ABS deal has been publicly placed after 2011 and the last SME deal happened in 2006, well before the financial crisis started.

Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Barclays were also lead managers on the deal.

The deal was well subscribed and by last Friday the book was in excess of €1.2 billion from over 30 high quality accounts, allowing BPVi to print the maximum size of €980 million. Societe General reported that funds bought 50% of the deal, with banks taking 38% and insurance companies 10%.

 “The number of investors and the large average ticket size reaffirms that this important asset class is back to stay as a funding channel for banks willing to offer high quality collateral and full transparent structures,” said Societe General analysts in a report today.

The transaction benefits of a very robust structure with two twin senior tranches rated AA+/AA by Fitch Ratings and DBRS respectively and strong credit enhancement, composed by the junior tranche and a cash reserve funded at closing.

Berica PMI is backed by a fully performing portfolio of which 49% secured by a first lien mortgage. The average loan is sized at €154k, with a weighted average seasoning  of 3.14 years.

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