FSI targets December close on Italy’s largest debut fund

Growth equity firm FSI - which spun out from Italian sovereign wealth fund Fondo Strategico Italiano last year - has already raised €1.2bn following an interim close last month.

FSI – the manager of Italy’s largest-ever first-time fund – is targeting a final close in December 2018, Private Equity International has learned.

The Milan-based growth equity firm – which spun out from Italian sovereign wealth fund Fondo Strategico Italiano, now CDP Equity, last year – held an interim close on €1.2 billion in December, according to a statement. European Investment Fund and a number of family offices committed to the vehicle after its first close in June, two sources with knowledge of the fund told PEI.

FSI will be “selective” with any further commitments ahead of final close on FSI Mid-Market Growth Equity Fund, which has a €2 billion hard-cap, the sources said. Existing limited partners include CDP as anchor investor, as well as Middle Eastern and Asian sovereign wealth funds, European insurance companies and family offices.

The FSI team – which includes Maurizio Tamagnini, former chief executive of Fondo Strategico Italiano – spent approximately five years together prior to its spin-out and generated “top-quartile” returns, one of the sources said. FSI made its first investment in December with the acquisition of a 27 percent stake in Parma-headquartered IT outsourcing provider Cedacri from the company’s 14 shareholder banks.

The firm has already raised more than double that of Italy’s former largest first-time fund. Sator Group gathered €500 million for its 2009-vintage debut fund, Sator Private Equity Fund, which focused on Italian distressed and turnaround assets, according to PEI data.

FSI primarily targets proprietary minority positions in family-owned businesses with annual turnovers of €100 million to €1 billion and which are involved in succession plans or wish to introduce external management to drive growth.