London-headquartered EOS Investment Management has launched a Luxembourg-domiciled private equity fund EOS Private Equity, for which it raised €55m.
The fund will invest in growing small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) based in Europe with a focus on the Italian industrial sector and targets a final close of €150m from professional investors.
A first acquisition has been completed, these of Italian manufacturer Poplast. EOS Private Equity has acquired 86.5% of Poplast’s capital.
The strategy seeks to invest in growth equity and buyout transactions of companies initially requiring up to €20m of equity capital.
EOS will look to acquire majority and minority equity stakes in the companies in which it invests.
The firm believes Italy has a large number of underfunded SMEs with expansion opportunities, particularly within the industrial sector, opening a gap for its EOS Private Equity fund to support strong management teams, create jobs and deliver commercial returns to investors.
Ciro Mongillo, founder and CEO of EOS Investment Management said of the deal: “The fact that we have achieved the first closing and concluded our first acquisition of EOS Private Equity within only six months demonstrates our strong commitment towards our investors. We are continuing to speak with prospective qualified investors and are greatly encouraged by their response. Our objective is to close the fundraising and capitalise on the healthy pipeline of companies we have already identified.
“EOS IM has established a leading role in energy and infrastructure industry, and now intends to attain the same position in the private equity industry by selecting excellent small and medium-sized companies. Poplast embodies EOS management policy through its management, infrastructure, ethos and established position in the sector”.
Marco Giuseppini, Head of Private Equity, commented on the fund’s first transaction: “Poplast has responded effectively to new consumption trends, the resulting customer/industry demands and large scale distribution challenges. This position is supported by strong customer service which has helped boost the firm’s product penetration in Italy, as clearly demonstrated by revenue growth in recent years, creating the basis for improving its international presence. We are also pleased that Carlo Callegari and Pierangelo Fantoni, CEO and CFO respectively of Poplast Srl, are our partners in the realisation of this development plan.”