Final close for Cape Natexis fund

Cimino & Associati Private Equity and Natexis Cape have reached a final close on the Cape Natexis Private Equity Fund at €120m, exceeding the original target of between €80m and €120m. Commitments have come from both Italian (25%) and international investors, including Natexis Private Equity International, Fondamenta (managed by State Street Global Advisors), CNP Assurances, Henderson Private Capital, Feri GmbH, Adveq Management, Fortis Private Equity and other major international investors.

The fund has a focus on small- and mid-cap buyouts in the North/North East of Italy, mainly in the industrial triangle of Milan/Padua/Bologna, and will be targeting businesses with an enterprise value up to €30m. The fund will take positions as a lead investor and majority shareholder. Natexis Cape also sources proprietary deals through its own investors (typically local lawyers, accountants, entrepreneurs in the North Eastern region of Italy) on an exclusive basis, thus limiting its involvement in competitive processes.

Natexis Private Equity International, part of the Paris-based private equity group, has supported the Italian team since October 2001 with a co-investment agreement and is a cornerstone investor in the fund.

Acanthus Advisers acted as exclusive financial advisor and international placement agent for the fund. Fund raising began in October 2003 with a first close held in January 2004. The fund is the fourth managed by the team at Cape since its inception in 1999. Since then the team has completed a total of 14 transactions and has a realised IRR of 73%.

Simone Cimino, chairman of Natexis Cape, said: “In current market conditions I am pleased to have achieved a final closing ahead of our original target and in such a short space of time. I am particularly pleased by the approach of Natexis Private Equity who scaled down their original commitment of €40m to €30m in order to allow new international investors access to the fund.”