Fund launches target ‘Made in Italy’

Idea Capital Funds, a leading Milan-based private equity firm, is to launch two funds targeted at foreign investors aiming to invest in Italy.

The funds will be focusing on two industrial sectors, the food and drinks industry and sustainable energy.

Chief executive Mario Barozzi told Reuters: “We want to attract foreign capital for investment in Italy. I would like to see about a third of the fund’s capital coming from abroad.”

Eventually, he wants to see that share increase to about half of the fund’s assets.

Idea Capital, which runs three other funds, is planning to raise €100m for the Efficiency and Sustainable Development fund, once regulatory approval is received in March.

The fund will be looking to buy minority holdings of 40-45%, or a majority holding, in unlisted companies. Four companies in the solar power or energy efficiency sector have already been shortlisted.

Barozzi is aiming to raise up to €150m for the food and drinks fund in the second half of 2012. He also said he had in mind a project for another fund to invest in products “Made in Italy”.

The fund will aim to outperform its benchmark, targeting an investment return of 10-15% over the fund’s nine year life.

Idea Alternative Investments, parent of Idea Capital Funds, is 44% owned by the De Agostini Group, a family-owned conglomerate with interests in publishing, media, gaming industry and finance, according to its website. The rest of the firm is management owned.

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