Italian mid-market fund exceeds target

IF Investimenti, a fund led by a group of former Italian industrialists, has closed on E112.5m to invest in medium-sized companies.

Industria & Finanza, a private equity firm sponsored by holding company Iniziativa Piemonte as well as corporate finance advisers Ersel Finanziaria and Mittel, has closed IF Investimenti, its first private equity fund.

Launched in October 2001 with a E100m target, the fund has raised E112.5m to invest in mid-market companies predominantly in Italy’s industrial North.

The three sponsors have all made cornerstone investments in the fund and are expected to help create deal-flow, drawing on a far-reaching network of contacts in Italian business. All three can also co-invest alongside the fund to participate in its deal-flow.

Iniziativa Piemonte is also an operating partner of the fund, bringing several years of experience in Italian private equity and a portfolio of relevant industrial holding into the project. Iniziativa Piemonte was founded by Gustavo Denegri and Gian Alberto Saporiti, who both spent their careers in Italian industry having held executive positions at companies including Hoechst Italia, Piaggo and Fiat.

The fund, which raised E34m of its capital from two European institutions based outside Italy, is looking to take majority positions in Italian industrial businesses. According to Luigi Capello, managing director of Industria & Finanza, the first investment of the fund is imminent: an agreement is to be signed with a sport and leisure shoe manufacturer within the coming week. 

Elm Capital, a London-based placement agent, advised IF Investimenti during the fund raising. Legal advice was provided by Italian law firm Mastracchio as well as Simmons & Simmons.