Opera and Bear Stearns strategic agreement

Opera, the private equity affiliate of Italian jeweller Bulgari, has entered a strategic agreement with Bear Stearns Merchant Banking (BSMB) that will see the two entities investing amounts of up to €200m in Italian lifestyle companies.

Opera and BSMB will target Italian companies with revenues in excess of €100m. The agreement will enable Opera and BSMB to co-invest in opportunities that require substantial capital commitments in sectors where both Opera and BSMB have complementary industry competencies and geographic reach.

Francesco Trapani, CEO of Bulgari, said: “As co-promoters of and investors in the Opera fund, we are very pleased with this alliance. Its formation confirms what we have believed all along: investing in Italian lifestyle is a winning strategy that is finding significant international attention among important investors.”

Opera recently announced the first closing of Opera 2 at €90m. The fund has a target of €250m. The Bulgari Group has committed €20m to the fund. Opera’s first fund raised €225m in 2001 and has invested around €160m in companies such as B&B Italia, AG Ferrari Foods, Itama, Sector Group, Bruno Magli and Unopiu.