Mediolanum State Street launches first Italian private equity fund of funds

Fondazione Cariplo, Fondazione Cariverona and Cassa Forense have made commitments to the E160m fund.

Mediolanum State Street SGRpA, the joint venture between State Street Global Advisers and Mediolanum, has announced the first closing of Fondamenta, its first Italian private equity fund of funds. A number of institutional investors have so far made a commitment to the fund, including Fondazione Cariplo, Fondazione Cariverona and Cassa Forense. This first close was at E160m ($141.8m).

The fund aims to provide investors with access to the developing Italian private equity market. According to the Italian private equity association (AIFI), private equity in Italy boasts average returns of more than 40 per cent. Private equity investment in Italy grew to E1.8bn in 1999 from E516m in 1996.

Fondamenta will invest between 60 and 70 per cent of its capital in Italian private equity funds and the rest in Italian co-investments, most of which will be in small- to medium-sized companies (SMEs). About E34m has already been committed to private equity funds Arca Impresa, Convergenza, Opera and Emerald.

Alan Brown, chairman of Mediolanum State Street, said: “Fondamenta’s launch is timely: the impact of generational change on the Italian corporate sector has led to an increase in IPOs. This fund will provide an entry point to the Italian private equity market for institutional investors.”

Fondamneta has a duration of 10 years and is authorised by the Banca d’Italia with Banca Commerciale Italiana acting as custodian.