Huttons Collins invests €45m

In one of the largest Italian private equity deals to be completed in 2009, preferred equity specialist Huttons Collins has invested €45m in Aquafil, an Italian manufacturer of textile flooring.

The deal marks the first investment Hutton has made from its €600m Hutton Collins III fund. The firm will take a minority position by way of preferred equity capital which will allow the current owner, Bonazzi Group, to retain overall control of Aquafil.

Aquafil will use its latest funding to expand into the Asian market as well as develop its environmentally sustainable product, Econyl.

Founded in 1969, Aquafil employs 1800 people worldwide and had revenues of €380.7m in 2008. Its specific focus is on engineering plastics and textile fabric sectors and has production facilities in Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, USA and Asia. The company claims to have 34% of the market share.

Graham Hutton, co-founder of Hutton Collins said: “As part of the investment strategy of our latest fund we intend to focus on the Italian market in a more systematic way. We will target for the most part minority positions in the companies in which we will invest.”