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Clessidra fully exits Italian asset management business

The partial exit comes as the Italian firm eyes a first close of approximately €400m on its third fund

Clessidra, a Milan-based private equity firm, has fully exited Anima Holding, an Italian asset management business, PEI has learnt.

The firm, which floated the company on the Milan stock exchange last April, sold its remaining shares, a 7.5 percent stake, which had a total value of approximately €100 million, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Clessidra has netted an overall return of 3.5x on the business, it is understood. Clessidra declined to comment.

The firm invested in the business in April 2009 when it bought a 67 percent in the business – which was then called Prima SGR – from Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena. In December 2010, Clessidra, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena and Banca Popolare di Milano merged the company with Anima, creating a large Italian asset management business. Following this merger, Clessidra held a 38 percent stake in the entity.

Under Clessidra’s ownership, Anima’s assets under management increased from €19 billion in 2009 to €57 billion in 2014. The firm invested in the business using capital from its Fund II, a €1.1 billion vehicle from 2009.

Following the Anima sale, there remain five businesses in the fund; including Balconi, a cake business; Euticals, a pharmaceutical firm; Buccellati, a jewellery business and Bitolea, a chemical company; and Harmont & Blaine, a clothing business.

So far, Clessidra has returned more than €900 million of its Fund II. In May, Clessidra completed the sale of tire manufacturer Pirelli to Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft in a transaction that valued the business at €552.7 million.

The firm is currently in market attempting to raise €1 billion for its third fund. Clessidra’s Fund III will hold a first close of approximately €400 million in the next month or so. The first close will coincide with the acquisition of luxury Italian fashion house Roberto Cavalli, PEI revealed last week.