Clessidra LPs approve new leadership

The latest LP vote provides a way forward for the firm, which had paused fundraising following the death of founder Claudio Sposito in January.

Investors in Milan-based private equity firm Clessidra's third fund voted with a 90 percent majority to approve the key executives who will lead the firm's operations, and to extend the fundraising deadline to 30 November, Clessidra said in a statement Friday.

Clessidra Capital Partners III aims to raise up to €800 million, the firm said. The fund, which was originally expected to complete its fundraising by the first half of 2016, is understood to have already raised more than half of its target.

The investor vote announced Friday enables Clessidra to move forward on securing its future following its €20 million sale on 26 April to Milan-based holding company Italmobiliare, and six months after the loss of founder, president, and chief executive Claudio Sposito , who died in January after a short illness. Italmobiliare has announced a commitment to Clessidra's fund of up to €100 million.

In the aftermath of Sposito's death there was some upheaval at Clessidra as the board sought to put a succession plan in place. An earlier attempt by the management to buy the business failed in March when the chairman, Francesco Trapani, dropped his bid to acquire a 59 percent majority stake, saying in a statement that Clessidra's owners were no longer willing to keep to the terms of an understanding that had been agreed upon several weeks before. 

“I am deeply saddened…not to be able to honour a moral commitment previously taken” with Sposito, Trapani said at the time. 

In June, partner and chief executive Maurizio Bottinelli left the firm, and was replaced as CEO by Piero Alonzo , former vice chairman of the board, while Mario Fera took up Bottinelli's board seat.

Now that the business has been sold to Italmobiliare and investors have agreed to the management changes, the next and final step is for the regulator to approve the deal, with a ruling expected in September.

Italmobiliare, which is controlled by the Pesenti family, is an investor in both industrial and financial companies, including Bergamo-based power generator Italgen and Milan-based commercial bank UniCredit.