Venture capital and private equity in Italy

Written on 27 Jan 2016

Market developments

The Italian venture capital investment market had a very interesting 2015, with around 100 new investments, totalling more than €100 million. The trend seems to be increasing in 2016, due to the large number of start-up companies raising equity in the market. The Italian private equity investment market was less active in 2015 but there are encouraging forecast for 2016 also due to increase of the funds collected in 2015 (+ 200% according to AIFI, the Italian Association of Private Equity Funds).

The main regulation impacting these markets has been the AIFM Directive, which was not helpful for VC funds development, since Italy did not opt to apply the exemptions for funds below €100 million. This considerably increased the costs of managing small funds and may have an impact on investors return.

Key deals in 2015

In the private equity market Osborne Clarke Italy has acted for:

  • Xenon a PE Fund which has completed the acquisition of Tamini by means of its controlled company TES S.p.A., for a value of €100 million.
  • Assietta in the sale of Ecotechnics for a value of €13 million and in the purchase of the coffee producer La Messicana S.p.A. for a value of €3 million.
  • US Norican Group, which is owned by Altor Equity Partners in a couple of turnaround transactions (value €15 million and €25 million). 

And we regularly act for Fondo Italiano di Investimento (the Italian Public investment fund) and Ristrutturazioni & Sviluppo (a turnaround specialist).

In the venture capital market we have acted for:

  • Red Lyons, a VC fund, acquiring a stake in Kyuinsis S.r.l. (€300,000).
  • Unilend in Italy, under the instruction of the VC fund 360 Capital Partner.
  • Xnext on its series A investment of €300,000, and its series B investment of €600,000.
  • Youinvest on its series A investment of €300,000.
  • Motus Quo S.p.A. on its €600,000 equity and €1.4 million debt issue.