Exclusive: Consilium nears €80m first close

The Milan-based firm is the latest GP to target funds for investment in Southern Europe.

Consilium, a buyout firm which targets small and medium-sized businesses in Italy, is nearing its first close on €80 million, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The firm, which recently came to market, plans to collect €150 million for its third fund, which has a €200 million hard-cap.

It is understood Consilium has hired Probitas Partners to place fund. Both Consilium and Probitas declined to comment.

Consilium, a spin out from Kairos Partners, was established in 2006. It currently manages three funds; the Kairos Partners Private Equity Fund, a €45 million vehicle, which is understood to have delivered a 4.4x cash on cash return.

Consilium’s second fund, a €150 million, 2007-vintage has made eight investments, of which four have been exited. It is understood that fund is currently valued at 1.3x, although this is expected to increase, a source said. The distributions to paid in (DPI) is currently 70 percent, the source said.

It is understood most of Consilium’s LPs will re-up, with the exception of a few Italian banks. While the firm is mainly targeting European LPs, it is also getting some interest from the US, the source added.

The mood for Italy was quite negative and sombre until the first half of the year, according to the source. Yet in the last three months, there has been a change in sentiment, the source said. “Investors are coming back [to Italy]. Quite a few underperforming teams are having trouble raising so they have either stopped or are raising less, so competition is not that high. The case for Italy is very interesting. It’s a large country, with millions of small and medium sized companies – and if you operate at that end of the market, the opportunities are limitless.”

In addition, Consilium mainly targets export-focused businesses.

Consilium is not the only GP currently trying to raise a fund to invest in Southern Europe. Last month, Milan-headquartered Ambienta held a €147 million first close as it aims to collect €300 million for its second fund.

Additionally, Madrid-based firm Corpfin came to market this summer to collect €200 million for its fourth fund, which targets investments in Spain. It aims to hold an €80 million first close before the end of the year, PEI exclusively reported in August. Portobello is also in market, attempting to raise €300 million for its third fund. In April, Investindustrial closed its fifth fund on its €1.25 billion hard-cap.