Cape launches mid-cap Italian fund

The Milan-based firm has again linked up with Natexis Private Equity to raise between E80m and E110m to invest in small-mid cap buyouts in North East Italy.

Cimino & Associati Private Equity (Cape), the Milan-based private equity firm is looking to raise a fund of up to E110m to invest in buyouts and build-ups in the North East of Italy.


Cape Natexis Private Equity Fund has been launched in association with Paris-based Natexis Private Equity International (NPEI). NPEI will be the cornerstone investor in the fund and has backed the team since October 2001 with a co-investment agreement to invest up to E40m.


The fund, the fourth to be advised by Cape since its inception in 1999, will target small-mid cap buyouts in the North and North East of Italy, particularly in the industrial triangle marked by the cities of Milan, Padua and Bologna. The fund will invest in companies with enterprise values typically below E30m. Cape has appointed Acanthus Advisers to act as its placement agent for the Fund.


Cape has participated in over E30m of equity investments to date in twelve transactions, acting as lead investor in all but one and has realised four exits. According to Cape, up to two further exits are planned by the end of the year and the unrealised portfolio remains 'healthy' with no write-downs to date.


Cape counts 75 individuals among its investor base, typically local professionals (such as lawyers and accountants) and entrepreneurs in the North Eastern region of Italy. Commenting on this network Cape managing director Simone Cimino said: “Thanks to our local investor network we have been able to obtain exclusive deals at attractive multiples.”


Fundraising for Cape Natexis Private Equity Fund is expected to start in September 2003 as soon as final approvals are received by the Italian regulatory authorities, and is expected to be completed in 2004. The vehicle will be an Italian closed-end fund with standard terms and conditions.