Clessidra embarks on first fundraise post-firm re-org

Capital raising for its latest vehicle follows a restructuring at the firm in which its private equity, private credit and small loans businesses will operate as separate entities.

Italian manager Clessidra is back on the fundraising trail with its fourth flagship fund, about a year after re-organising its private equity and credit entities in the wake of founder Claudio Sposito’s death in 2016.

The Milan-based firm has begun pre-marketing for Clessidra Capital Partners 4 and is targeting €500 million, Andrea Ottaviano, chief executive of Clessidra, told Private Equity International.

He added that the firm has set the hard-cap at €600 million and is expecting a first close by the end of April.

“Appetite for existing investors is pretty high and the firm has also seen strong interest from fund of funds and Italian family offices,” Ottaviano said. “We expect to target a broader set of international investors within the year once travel restrictions are lifted.”

The target is about 38 percent smaller than the amount Clessidra sought for its predecessor vehicle. Clessidra Capital Partners 3 held a final close on €607 million against an €800 million target in 2016, according to PEI data. Italian pensions Cassa Forense and La Cassa dei Dottori Commercialisti invested in CCP 3.

CCP 3 has been fully deployed, following the firm’s investment this month in winemaker Botter.

“We wanted to replicate the strategy for CCP 3 because we see a white space in the Italian market in the mid-size segment, whereby you only have very few players,” said Ottaviano. “We will look at deals where we put to work between €40 million and €100 million.”

Clessidra is finalising the process of re-organising the firm through the creation of three separate entities for its private equity, private credit and small loans businesses. The restructuring process was initiated last year and is ongoing, Ottaviano noted.

“A concern of our LPs when I joined was the clear separation of the activities that were already in place at the firm,” Ottaviano said. “This re-organisation means Clessidra is now a multi-asset platform, with separate teams and separate governance structures for each of the business units.”

The firm expanded into the bank credit sector with the launch of a €320 million restructuring fund in 2019. It launched its small loans business late last year with the acquisition of credit company Compagnia Europea Factoring Industriale.

Clessidra was acquired by investment holding company Italmobiliare in 2016, following the death of founder Claudio Sposito in January of that year.

Read PEI’s feature on how Clessidra restarted activities after Italmobiliare’s acquisition