VTB Capital joins forces with Italian Invitalia

The partnership between the Russian firm and Italy’s national agency for investment promotion comes as a number of Russo-Italian fund initiatives have sprung up recently.

VTB Capital, the buyout arm of Russian bank VTB Group, has strengthened its cooperation with Invitalia, Italy’s national agency for investment promotion, in a bid to expand VTB Capital’s investment focus in Europe. 

The agreement with Invitalia is aimed at a “mutual exchange of information on investment policies, active promotion and potential investors”, according to a statement. 

Invitalia will inform VTB Capital about investment opportunities in Italy, which will allow VTB Capital to promote them to the Russian business community. 

Through their cooperation VTB Capital and Invitalia will aim to develop joint business opportunities and other projects involving Russian and Italian companies, funds, government agencies, individuals and assets. Invitalia also will provide VTB Capital with Italian market analysis, location sourcing and assistance with documentation, according to the statement. 

According to VTB Capital, there will be “substantial opportunities” from the partnership with Invitalia, which “will provide a window into Italian opportunities and relationships with Italian companies”, Riccardo Orcel, deputy chief executive of VTB Group, said in the statement, adding that Italy has traditionally been the fourth largest trading partner of Russia. 

The move is also part of VTB Capital’s aim to further internationalise in the rest of Europe, Alexei Yakovitsky, global chief executive at VTB Capital, said in a statement. The partnership also will “contribute to the development of growing economic ties between Russia and Italy”, he said. 

VTB Capital is not the only firm that sees investment opportunities between Italy and Russia. In June, MIR Capital, a buyout fund jointly created last year by Gazprombank and Intesa Sanpaolo, an Italian bank, acquired a minority stake in Packer Service Group, a provider of high-tech services to large oil and gas producers. The $300 million MIR Capital vehicle aims to support Russian and Italian SMEs. 

In April, RVC InfraFund, a Russian government-backed vehicle, teamed up with Luxembourg-based arc Asset Management to raise a €100 million fund that will invest in Italian and Russian small and medium sized enterprises as well. The “ISAM Fund” will target Italian SMEs that want to enter Russia and likewise Russian SMEs that want to expand into Italy, Angelo Lazzari, chief executive of arc Asset Management and founder of ISAM, told Private Equity International at the time.