Emerald Fund closes at E215.5m

The Italian venture capital fund has completed a fundraising effort E15m north of its initial target set at the start of the year.

The Emerald Fund, an Italian private equity fund focusing primarily on domestic venture capital investments, has closed at E215.5m, E15.5m above the target set for the fund at the start of 2001.

The fund is advised by PM & Partners, a private equity investment boutique specialising in investments in small to medium sized Italian companies.

Among Emerald’s investors is UK fund of funds Parallel Ventures, the Catisa Group, a holding company with assets of more than $3bn, PPM Ventures, and a number of Italian banks such as IntesaBCI, Banca Lombarda and Cardine Group. In January, Fondamenta, an Italian private equity fund of funds, also invested.

According to Francesco Panfilo, founder of PM & Partners, there are currently 10 potential investments on the fund’s radar. “There is a lot of opportunity and prices are coming down, although not quite as quickly as expected,” he said.

To date two investments have been made from the fund. Capital has been committed to the Eco Group, a component manufacturer for refrigeration and air conditioning systems which is owned by a syndicate of financial investors including B&S Electra, and to Idra Presse, a quoted maker of die casting machines which is currently preparing to be taken private.