07 March 2021 / Company news

Scope Group acquires Euler Hermes Rating-

The acquisition is a further step in consolidating the European ratings market and strengthens Scope’s position in rating mid-cap companies and project finance, two increasingly important segments as the EU heads towards Capital Markets Union.

Scope Group - Europe's leading provider of independent credit ratings, ESG and fund analysis - has acquired Euler Hermes Rating GmbH as of 1 January 2021. "The acquisition of Euler Hermes Rating is another step towards consolidating the European ratings market and building a European rating heavyweight," says Florian Schoeller, founder and CEO of Scope Group.

Euler Hermes Rating is a unit of Allianz SE’s credit-insurance arm Euler Hermes. The firm’s analytical focus is primarily on small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and infrastructure project finance. "Given its focus, Euler Hermes Rating is well positioned in segments with rising investor demand, and offers clear synergies with Scope Group," says Florian Schoeller. Debt investors are increasingly focused on project finance and SMEs in their search for alternative assets and yield. At the same time, European institutions are improving capital market access for SMEs and infrastructure projects through the Capital Markets Union (CMU).

The goal of the CMU – creating a strong and unified EU capital market – is of significant strategic importance for Europe's economy. "In this context, we offer investors and issuers a European perspective on both credit and ESG," says Guillaume Jolivet, COO of Scope Group. "Our rating approaches and methodologies are based on a deep understanding of European realities which is why we are so pleased to welcome Euler Hermes Ratings’ team of analysts to Scope. They have long-standing experience in rating European SMEs and in particular mid-cap companies which perfectly complements our own credit rating expertise.”

Euler Hermes Ratings will operate under the new name of Scope Hamburg GmbH and will be integrated into the Scope Group.

Background - European Rating Agency: Europe’s policy makers have long recognised the region’s need for its own strong, independent financial institutions, a view given extra urgency by the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 and the European sovereign debt crisis of 2011. The crises exposed Europe’s vulnerability in the realm of credit ratings, with issuers – governments, banks, corporates – and investors reliant on credit opinions of the oligopoly of North American credit rating agencies (CRAs). Jean Claude Trichet, former President of the European Central Bank, reiterated this call at the launch of the Scope Foundation last year when he said: "Europe needs a strong and independent European rating agency.” (See also: Foundation secures Scope's European identity). A growing number of leading international groups are showing their confidence in the European perspective that Scope offers in its ratings, including Barclays, Daimler, Deutsche Lufthansa, Fnac Darty, Haniel, Lanxess, Merck KGaA, Sanofi, Santander, Terna, Unicredit and Vonovia.

Background Capital Markets Union: The core objective of the Capital Markets Union is to overcome the fragmentation of European financial markets and to create capital-market alternatives for European companies which are still heavily reliant on bank loans for funding. Deeper, more liquid credit markets would benefit SMEs and backers of infrastructure projects, particularly as Europe plans to invest heavily in ensuring sustainable post-pandemic growth. The European Commission has pursued the Capital Markets Union since 2015, a project which has gained greater relevance and urgency with the Covid-19 crisis and Brexit. The European Commission presented a new action plan last September. Further information...

About Euler Hermes

Euler Hermes is the global leader in trade credit insurance and a recognized specialist in the areas of surety, collections, structured trade credit and political risk. Headquartered in Paris, Euler Hermes is present in more than 50 countries with 5,800 employees. In 2019, Euler Hermes consolidated turnover was 2.7 billion Euro and insured global business transactions represented 950 billion Euro in exposure. Euler Hermes is a member of Allianz.

About Euler Hermes Rating

Euler Hermes Rating GmbH was founded in 2001 as an independent European rating agency of the Euler Hermes and Allianz Groups, focusing on Corporate and Project credit ratings, as well as non-regulated products and services. In November 2010, Euler Hermes Rating became the first credit rating agency to be registered in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1060/2009 of the European Parliament and Council (as amended) and is considered as an external credit assessment institution (ECAI) by the European Banking Authority (EBA). Further to its acquisition by Scope Group, the Company now operates under the new name of Scope Hamburg GmbH.