New MD for 3i Italy

Marco Fumagalli has been promoted to managing director of 3i’s Italian operations, replacing Sergio Sambonet.

London-listed private equity firm 3i has appointed Marco Fumagalli as managing director of its Italian operation, effective from December 2005.

Fumagalli joined 3i in 1996 and worked at its Bristol office from 1997 to 1998. He then worked as a member of the investment team in Milan, becoming a director in 2000. Prior to joining 3i, Fumagalli worked in KPMG’s audit department.

Fumagalli: new MD of 3i Italy

Sergio Sambonet, who founded 3i’s Italian operations and has acted as managing director for 15 years, will move to a new role as chairman of 3i Italy. The senior team also includes partners Lorenzo Salieri and Marco Termini.

3i opened its Italian office in Milan in 1991 and currently employs a total of 13 staff, focusing on medium to large growth capital investments and mid-market buyouts.

In separate news, 3i has sold its minority stake in William Wilson, a UK supplier of electrical, plumbing, heating and building products to Wolseley plc for £81 million (€119 million; $144 million).

3i said it had received proceeds of £22 million, representing a money multiple of 20 times its original investment and an IRR of 17 percent. 3i originally invested around £1 million in William Wilson in 1971.

“Since we invested in William Wilson, the company has grown strongly to become one of the leading players in the industry,” said Judy Mackie, 3i portfolio manager, in a statement. “The building products industry is rapidly consolidating around a small number of large players and we believe this acquisition offers a great opportunity for both William Wilson and Wolseley.”

The transaction is 3i’s second sale of a portfolio company to heating and plumbing supplier Wolseley in just over a week, following the divestment of insulation production firm Encon for £140.5 million towards the end of October.