Two deals for IF Investimenti

The Italian private equity firm has completed two recent deals spanning security systems and bakery production.

Industria & Finanza, the management company of the Italian private equity fund IF Investimenti, has completed its second and third transactions in the Italian mid-market since holding a final close of the fund on E112.5m in July 2002.


One of the two deals is the acquisition of Milan-based Panem, a business division of Gran Milano, which manufactures baking products including breads and pizza bases. The business, which also has a production facility in Turin, reported revenues in 2000 of E48m and is projected to achieve growth of around two per cent this year.


I&F is planning to expand Panem’s activity across Italy by adding to the company’s regional products offering.


In late September, I&F also backed a buyout of Serrature Meroni Group, a security systems group also based in Milan. I&F took a 75 per cent stake in the business as part of a buy-and-build strategy, backing Gersam Meroni, manager and son of the founder of Meroni Group. I&F said the business will look to make acquisitions in Italy and abroad.


The Serrature Meroni Group includes Serrature Meroni, based and ASM, both based in Italy, and Cerraval, which is based in Spain. In 2003, the group is expected to post revenues of E15m, according to I&F. Serrature Meroni was set up in 1945.


Industria & Finanza is a private equity firm sponsored by holding company Iniziativa Piemonte as well as corporate finance advisers Ersel Finanziaria and Mittel. IF Investimenti was launched in October 2001 with a E100m target to invest in mid-market companies predominantly in Italy’s industrial North. IF major investors include Ersel group, PPM Ventures, Mittel, Iniziativa Piemonte, Fondamenta and De Agostini group.


I&F closed its first investment deal in 2002, acquiring a 67 per cent stake in De Fonseca, a Turin based manufacturer of slippers and home shoes market, with 2003 revenues about E41m.