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Fund downsize for Raffaello PE

Raffaello Private Equity has closed its first fund at euro50 million. The intention was to raise a total of euro100 million when the fund was launched in summer of 1999 but by September last year it was decided that to continue the fund raising process was distracting from the investment process. The process was proving difficult given that this is both a first time fund and a first time management team.

Giovanna Voltolina at Raffaello Private Equity notes that it is likely that the fund will finish investing by March 2002 and consequently the team will be looking to raise another fund towards the end of this year.

The fund is about to sign its fourth investment to date: in support of a management buyout in an old economy company. This is a change of tact for the fund that originally started life seeking new economy early stage, although not seed or start-up, investments. Today the focus is on expansion and buyouts across a range of sectors.

The first three deals involved one international company called Red Cube Group. This is an international provider of Internet Protocol and web-based next generation communication services in which Raffaello invested an undisclosed sum. The other two deals involve Italian companies. They are a Lira16 billion development capital investment in Cities on Line, which has filed admission to be listed on the Nuovo Mercato. And a 15 per cent minority stake in Telsey, which has two main activities: transmission equipment and test and measurement equipment. Transmission equipment performs electronic signal transmission and allows broadband to be carried over different media and with different transmission standards into the building. Test and measurement performs test and analysis of transmission infrastructure.

Raffaello Private Equity is an Italian fund advised and promoted by Euromobiliare Corporate Finance. Raffaello is a joint venture between Euromobiliare Corporate Finance (a subsidiary of Credito Emiliano) and Folio Investments, which was created in the mid 1990s by former Merrill Lynch & Co managers as a corporate finance and private equity advisory firm.

The investment team is comprised of Giorgio Medici, Stanislas Yassukovitch, Adriano Dispenza and Maurizo Bianco. Medici, who was one time head of Italian private equity firm Sofipa, heads Euromobiliare Corporate Finance.