By Andrea Mandala and Giulio Piovaccari
MILAN (Reuters) - Italian payment services group SIA is considering an initial public offering which could value the company at 3.5 billion euros (3.04 billion pounds), Chief Executive Nicola Cordone said on Wednesday.
Cordone also said SIA currently had 500 million euros available for two acquisitions in Europe, for which it has been short-listed.
Listing the company in Milan would allow SIA to raise around 1 billion euros in new funds for more acquisitions, he said.
"All our shareholders agree that we need to grow in Europe and they are also considering an IPO," Cordone told Reuters, adding that shareholders would probably take a decision by this summer.
Cordone said the company could be valued at "at least" 3.5 billion euros based on an EBITDA of over 200 million euros at the end of last year.
Europe's electronic payments market, which generated revenues of more than 80 billion euros in 2017, is expected to grow by 3-5 percent a year in terms of transactions by 2021, according to McKinsey data cited in a press presentation of SIA's new plan.
SIA is 49.5 percent owned by state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) through investment vehicle FSIA Investimenti.
Italian infrastructure fund F2i, in which CDP has 14 percent, has 17 percent in SIA. Other shareholders include Italian lenders Banco BPM, Intesa Sanpaolo, Unicredit and Mediolanum and Germany's Deutsche Bank.
Cordone said SIA's board was not looking at a potential tie-up with Italian digital payment specialist Nexi, though he did not exclude the possibility that SIA shareholders might consider closer cooperation in the future.
Nexi approved last week the launch of its own IPO process, with a possible valuation of more than 7 billion euros.
(Writing by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Susan Fenton)