Alpinvest Links with Chase/ Mittel Fund Exceeds Target

Chase Capital Partners and its new Italian partner Mittel brought the Chase-Mittel Capital Fund II (EVCJ October/November 1997, page 5) to a final closing over target at L140 billion (ecu 72 million) in December. Each of the co-sponsors has committed L30 billion to the fund.

Alpinvest of the Netherlands, which also committed L30 billion, becomes a co-owner, together with Chase European Equity Associates, CCP’s European affiliate, and Mittel, of Link Investment Manager, the fund’s Jersey-based investment advisor. Funds advised by the Hillman Company – a participant in the earlier Chase-Gemina Italia vehicle – and by Pantheon Ventures complete the investor line-up.

CCP partner Shahan Soghikian revealed that Chase and Mittel began negotiations with Alpinvest in the autumn. He said the co-sponsors are delighted that Alpinvest is playing a significant role in the fund, which should benefit from the scope of the Dutch group’s European investment activity.

Chase-Mittel Capital Fund II will also benefit from its operational relationship with Private Equity Partners (PEP), a newly-formed Italian merchant bank headed by Fabio Sattin and Giovanni Campolo, the former managers of Chase Gemina Italia. CCP, Alpinvest and Mittel are minority shareholders in PEP, alongside Iniziativa Piemonte, a Turin investment and advisory group. Fabio Sattin and Giovanni Campolo together control a majority of PEP.

PEP has entered into formal co-investments with its shareholders, other institutional investors including The Hillman Company, and with the Chase-Mittel Capital Fund II.

Although the Chase-Mittel fund is targeting investments in the L10-25 billion range, co-investment from some of its backers gives Chase-Mittel Capital Fund II the capacity to undertake substantially larger transactions. Shahan Soghikian said that Alpinvest and CCP will be the principal co-investors but that Hillman and Mittel might also invest directly alongside the fund “to a lesser extent, reflecting the scale of funds currently available to the various groups”.

With Italy looking set for the first round of EMU, and the stock market’s strong start to this year following its superb performance during 1997, “it should be a good market for the rest of this century and the beginning of the next”, said Shahan Soghikian. Certainly, Chase-Mittel Capital Fund II has seen no shortage of attractive investment opportunities so far, and the managers hope to announce the completion of its first two investments well before the end of the first quarter.