Cape exceeds target

Cimino & Associati Private Equity (Cape) and Natexis Cape SGR have reached a first close on Cape Natexis Private Equity Fund at some €87m, exceeding its original target of €60m. Fund raising began in October 2003 and the team hopes to reach a final target of €110m.

Commitments have come from both international and Italian investors including Natexis Private Equity International, Fondamenta (managed by State Street Global Advisors), CNP Assurances, Henderson Private Capital and a number of Italian high net worth individuals and family offices.

The fund has a strong focus on small to mid-cap buyouts in North/ North East Italy with a particular focus on the industrial triangle – Milan-Padua-Bologna. The team will be looking at buyouts and build-ups in situations relating to family succession and consolidating sectors with enterprise values below €30m.

Armando D’Amico of Acanthus Advisers, financial advisor and international placement agent for the fund, said: “The strong interest shown towards the fund and similar medium sized offering is further confirmation that sophisticated investors are seeking to diversify their exposure and enhance their returns by committing to focused, ambitious teams with original angles on deal sourcing with a proven track record.”

Cape Natexis Private Equity fund is the fourth fund advised by the team at Cape since its inception in 1999. The group has completed 14 transactions since inception and has realized an IRR of 73%. Cape’s team comprises 8 investment professionals and five support staff with offices in Milan, Bologna, Verona and Padua. The founder Simone Cimino is a former partner and managing director of LBO Italia. Natexis Private Equity International has over €1.5bn under management and has supported the team since October 2001 with a co-investment agreement and is a cornerstone investor in the fund.