The Independent

Florida hotel added to Cipriani empire

The Cipriani empire of luxury hotels and exclusive restaurants is set to expand in the US, after the group completed the largest property deal in Miami over the past 12 months.

In the UK, the Cipriani name is best known for its upmarket restaurant in Mayfair, famed for celebrity clientele including David Beckham and Naomi Campbell. The restaurant’s parent company, the Cipriani Group, runs eateries from Hong Kong to Buenos Aires.

At the end of December, a group of private investors teamed up with the company to buy the Saxony Hotel in South Beach, Miami. The deal, which has now been completed through a sale and leaseback venture, is understood to be worth about $250m (£127m). It was the largest property transaction in the city in the past year, according to sources close to the deal.

The hotel is now under renovation and will reopen at the end of next year as part of what will be called the Cipriani Ocean Resort and Club Residences.

The acquisition of the hotel was negotiated by Crédit des Alpes, a banking group that specialises in luxury hotel developments. It also holds a stake in Cipriani’s Mayfair restaurant.

The Cipriani restaurant empire traces its roots back to an abandoned warehouse in Venice, Italy. It was there in 1932 that Giuseppe Cipriani opened Harry’s Bar, whose patrons included Humphrey Bogart, Orson Welles and Truman Capote. The Cipriani Group is run by Giuseppe’s son Arrigo and his grandson Giuseppe.

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Finanz und Wirtschaft

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Credit des Alpes is the new owner of Swiss Data Deposit

The holding company Crédit des Alpes, with offices in Geneva and Lugano, controlled by Fabrizio Cerina, has recently acquired 55% of Swiss Data Deposit SDD, based in Zurich which is one of the most important suppliers of data protection and security systems in the data processing sector. It specifically serves Private Banks, Legal Firms and Hospitals. The Italian company Redaelli Tecna and participations in the Restaurant Chain Cipriani, among others, also belong to the Cerina Group.

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Giornale del Popolo

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Swiss Data Deposit acquired by Cerina

Crédit des Alpes, the banking group controlled by the Italo-Swiss financier Fabrizio Cerina, has acquired 55% in Swiss Data Deposit AG of Zurich, one of the world’s main producers of technology for digital data protection and security. In Italy, Swiss Data Deposit mainly serves the large hospitals, supplying them with the most advanced technology for encryption and storage of sensitive data. Among the companies participated by Credit des Alpes are also Redaelli Tecnica SpA, the Italian market-leader and fifth in the world for the production of steel wires, and the restaurant group Cipriani (whose Harry’s Bar is the most famous brand) in London. On April 8th, during an interview with GdP, Glauco San Giovanni, head of the security service, explained that all sensitive data are stored in Zurich, in highly secure and impenetrable locations.

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Il Sole 24 Ore

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Crédit des Alpes and Kohlberg take over Redaelli

The American fund Kohlberg and the banking group Crédit des Alpes are becoming shareholders of the Italian company Redaelli Tecna, holder of a group producing steel ropes, pre-stressing concrete and the steel cord used to strengthen car tyres. The largest share of Redaelli Tecna will be acquired by Kohlberg, which has already secured 95% of the company. The shareholders’ complex sees the leaving of Sopaf, while Fin2000 of the Bocconi University will maintain its share. The London branch of Crédit des Alpes, a group having one of its major seats in Geneva, acted as investment bank for this transaction, together with Vasiliou of New York. The same Crédit des Alpes will join the body of the shareholders. During the next phase, Redaelli’s capital shares shall then be defined as follows: about 65% to Kohlberg, about 30% to Crédit des Alpes and about 5% to Bocconi’s Fin2000.

The value of the transaction was not made known. However, Redaelli Tecna has been recapitalised. In 1998, Redaelli Group totalled a turnover amounting to about 300 billion liras (USD 165 millions). Its main operating seat is located in Gardone Valtrompia, an iron and steel industry centre near Brescia, but the group can also count over a plant in the province of Naples and, abroad, in France and the USA. With a long history behind its back – its foundation dating of 1819 – the group of Brescia is one or the world’s biggest producers in the segments of steel ropes and pre-stressing concrete. Redaelli is also the provider of the cables supporting the “Millennium Wheel”, the giant wheel which will rise in London, just in front of the Big Ben, and of the framework for a major waterworks in Libya. In the past, the Italian group produced the suspension cables for the Storebaelt Bridge, connecting Copenhagen to the Jutland, of the Edinburgh Bridge, and various elements for the Rome and Seville stadiums.

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La Repubblica

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The attorney’s office of Lugano: there were no elements of a crime

Attel Bank, private banker Cerina acquitted

Milan – The Attel Bank case is closed after two years. Mr. Eggenschwiler, district attorney of Lugano, closed the Preliminary Investigation against the Swiss-Italian private banker Fabrizio Cerina acquitting him completely because – as the act says – “aside from the fact that he had repaid all customers, damaged by a former employee, Cerina’s behavior did not show any aspect of penal importance and did nor justify the continuation of the investigations”.

One and a half year ago, the banker reimbursed – being under this aspect the first such case in the financial history of Switzerland – all customers, damaged by the local manager of one of Attel Group’s companies.

When the crisis came out, the magistrate started an investigation against the directors of the holding company.  Among them, besides Cerina, also is the cousin of the former French President François Giscard-d’Estaing. The news of the acquittal, that put an end to the whole criminal proceedings, arrived yesterday.

In the meantime, some industrial investments made in Latin America, United States and Switzerland, allowed Cerina to make up for most of the 45 billions (lira) he voluntarily reimbursed to his customers. In particular, “very good are the results of a Californian food company of his, the Fudgets Inc., that is going to come to Italy with a line of advanced dietetic products”.

Moreover, Cerina – who is also associate with the Austrian family Langes-Swarowski, the world leader producer of crystal objects – brokered and acquired some important states in the food industry in banks in Argentina.

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Il Messaggero

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The ”banker and gentleman” lives in Lugano

MILAN – The Swiss newspapers renamed him ”a banker and a gentleman”, dedicating him several first pages. But beyond all hagiographies, Fabrizio Cerina is the protagonist in an uncommon – if not even unique – case: he repaid at 100% , plus the interests, all creditors and customers of Attel & Co. (a bank in Lugano owned by Attel Finance, of which he is the president and the majority shareholder) that Cerina himself put in voluntary liquidation.

Instead of the short cut of the ”concordato moratorio” – by which the creditors are reimbursed at only 10-15% – the banker chose a way that he defines ”more expensive but honourable”: in three successive moments, he put at the disposal of the liquidators the 45 billion of Italian liras needed to plug the ”hole” caused by an employee to the Lugano subsidiary company of his Group. And last week, less than one year after the beginning of the affair, all clients were reimbursed. It is the first time that such a thing happens in the history of Swiss finance, and probably in that of Europe’s as well. ”In Switzerland they were surprised -says Cerina, 40 years old, born in Parma, leader of a group with net assets of 60 million dollars – but I think I only did my duty”. It is also to consider that the full reimbursement will produce a positive return on the image of the Group, whose main activity is the acquisition of participations in banking and finance: a demonstration of soundness that provides an excellent visiting card, a guarantee of credibility, which is particularly important in this moment of Attel’s full expansion. The operations in progress are many, while the process of privatisations in Italy is followed with great interest. Attel is ready to stand as a candidate for holdings in the banking sector, firmly persuaded that ”if the dismissions will be made seriously, there will be very good opportunities”. The incident en route was therefore overcome without serious damages. The bomb exploded in September, 1992, when Cerina discovered that one of the managers of the Lugano subsidiary was responsible for the huge loss. The lost money was used by the unfaithful manager for some reckless investments, all of them badly ended, in US securities.
C. Gu.

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