IF Investimenti, a E112.5m mid-market fund closed in June this year and run by private equity house Industria & Finanza, has completed its first transaction.
The fund has acquired a 67 per cent stake in four separate health and sports shoe manufacturers put up for sale by their controlling shareholder, the De Fonseca family.
The four units, run by the same management team, have been rolled into a new vehicle, De Fonseca SpA, in which the family retains a 20 per cent interest, with management and a number of other private investors also participating.
Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed. In 2001, the assets generated turnover of E37m, with 5 per cent growth forecast for the current fiscal year.
The new owners intend to strengthen De Fonseca’s position in the Italian market while exporting the brand into new markets within the European Union, Russia and other Eastern European countries. At present sales outside Italy account for 20 per cent of group turnover.
Industria & Finanza is sponsored by Iniziativa Piemonte, a holding company, as well as corporate finance advisers Ersel Finanziaria and Mittel. The firm is targeting investments in the Italian mid-market, where it is particularly interested in family-owned businesses with turnover between E40m and E75m.