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Crédit des Alpes: ”Business with Russians but not only in Russia”
The Russian giant Severstal Metiz has bought the Gardone Valtrompia plant of Redaelli Tecna, a leading producer of steel wire ropes (former Lucchini group). The company was sold this August by Crédit des Alpes (with offices in Geneva and Lugano) which is controlled by the Swiss-Italian financier Fabrizio Cerina who had bought the plant in 2000. The Russians are extremely active in the raw material sector where they seem to be laying down the law. ”This is why,” says Fabrizio Cerina (picture) ”after careful consideration, I came to the conclusion that it is better to do business with them rather than come off worst in an unequal struggle. However, our investment wasn’t a short-term speculation, since eight years in the industrial sector is no mean achievement,” admits Cerina. On the other front, Crédit des Alpes is specialising in Private Equity operations. Again Fabrizio Cerina, together with the Cipriani group as the major shareholder, has wrapped up one of the largest property deals ($250m) on the American market by selling the Saxony Hotel of South Beach, Miami. Once more the Russians are the buyers. The huge hotel has by the way been leased back by Cipriani. Thanks to the hike in raw material prices and although the Russian market has been suffering recently as a result of the conflict with Georgia, the Russian tycoons are nonetheless among those with the most ready money and capital resources, confides Cerina, a fact that is also confirmed by their many acquisitions on the Swiss property market.