Exclusive: Ambienta closes second fund on €323.5m

The Milan-based firm, which held a €250m interim close in June, has exceeded its €300m target

Ambienta, an Italy-based firm focused on pan-European investments in the environmental sector, has wrapped up fundraising for its second fund, PEI has learnt.

The firm has closed the vehicle on €323.5 million, above its €300 million target, Ambienta confirmed to PEI.

The fund has attracted investors from around the world, including pension funds, insurance companies, funds of funds and family offices in Europe and the US. LPs included the European Investment Fund, Generali, HarbourVest, Hermes, Pantheon, RobecoSAM, Stafford Capital Partners, Unigestion and Zurich Insurance Group, as well as Italian LPs such as CNPADC, Fondazione Enasarco, Intesa Sanpaolo, Fondo Italiano di Investimento, and Poste Vita.

Rede Partners supported Ambienta with the fundraising.

Ambienta II, which came to market in June 2013 targeting €300 million, held a €250 million interim close in June. It collected €200 million in a second close just before last Christmas, having held a €145.2 million first close last October.

Ambienta aims to capitalise on the growing markets for businesses focused on energy and resource efficiency, waste management and pollution, and renewable energy services. As a result of a historic lack of natural resources and high population density, many European businesses have developed strong capabilities in these areas, and the firm seeks to support the development of such companies into international industry champions through an industrial approach, Ambienta said.

The successful fundraise “reflects investors’ appreciation of both the huge opportunity for long term environmental trends, and the effectiveness of our industrial strategy to address it,” Nino Tronchetti Provera, managing partner of Ambienta, said.

Ambienta has already made one investment from the vehicle. In July, the firm acquired IP Cleaning, an Italian manufacturing business for the cleaning sector, for approximately €150m, which includes some existing debt facilities, a source close to the deal told PEI at the time. Ambienta invested €50 million in the business, the source added.

The firm’s second fund is substantially larger than Ambienta’s debut fund, which closed in 2009 on €217 million. So far, Ambienta has made one divestment from Fund I. Last July, it sold Tower Light, a business that makes lighting towers for construction sites to an American trade buyer. The company had a 30 percent growth rate, with 90 percent of the sales coming outside of Italy and a big chunk coming outside of Europe. “It delivered an internal rate of return in triple digits,” Nino Tronchetti Provera, founder and managing partner at Ambienta, told PEI earlier.