Italy reviews Pignataro’s bid for Prelios after ION buying spree -Bloomberg News

(Reuters) – The Italian government is reviewing the planned acquisition of Prelios by Andrea Pignataro’s ION Group, as Rome steps up its scrutiny of the tycoon following a string of high-profile deals, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s administration is weighing whether it should invoke the “golden power” provision for financial technology firm ION’s agreement to buy Italian credit manager Prelios, Bloomberg reported. It added that meetings between government officials and Prelios managers to discuss the deal were held in Rome earlier this week.

The golden power regulation allows Italy’s government to block or impose conditions on deals and is aimed at shielding strategic assets in sectors of artificial intelligence, semiconductor manufacturing, cyber security, aerospace, energy storage, and quantum and nuclear technologies.

The Italian government’s press office, Prelios and ION Group did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the report.

U.S. hedge fund Davidson Kempner Capital Management (DK) in August had agreed to sell Prelios to ION Group, in a long-awaited deal which two sources said valued the credit manager at 1.35 billion euros ($1.48 billion).

The acquisition comes against a backdrop of rising interest rates, in a challenge for a group known for its aggressive use of debt financing in its growth strategy.

($1 = 0.9139 euro)

(Reporting by Devika Nair and Chandni Shah in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese and Matthew Lewis)