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Italy to launch the "Fondo Strategico Italiano" (Italian Strategic Fund – FSI)

Italy launches a new 4 Billion Euro state-backed private equity fund dedicated to healthy Italian companies operating in strategic sectors that need fresh capital to enlarge their business and be competitive on a global scale.

The NewCo, named "Fondo Strategico Italiano" (Italian Strategic Fund – FSI), was announced on Thursday, July 28 in a press conference held by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Giulio Tremonti, the Director General of the Treasury, Vittorio Grilli, Franco Bassanini and Giovanni Gorno Tempini – respectively - President and CEO of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti Spa (CDP).

Capital: The initial capital of FSI will be 1 Billion Euro: 90% CDP and 10% Fintecna. However, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti is ready to inject in FSI up to 4 Billion Euros. Private companies, including foreign investors, and Governmental entities, will be able to join the NewCo with the target of reaching up to 7 Billion Euro.

Objectives: The fund will support the growth of Italian strategic companies to compete globally. FSI’s activity is restricted to healthy and profitable Italian businesses, with solid growth prospects, in need of capital injection to enlarge their business and be competitive on a global scale.

Target Investments: Mainly minority stakes (controlling stakes are possible in natural monopolies, or justified by special circumstances):

  • in companies operating in the following strategic Sectors: Defense, Security, Infrastructures and Public Services, Transportation, Communications, Energy, Insurance and Financial Services, Research and High Technology
  • or in companies fulfilling both the following criteria:

    1. Annual Net Revenue of 300 Million Euro
    2. Average 250 employees during the last financial year

As far as the dimensional criteria, smaller companies with significant and positive impact on both local and national economic system – proven also by a relevant presence of plants and facilities within the country - can be eligible for funding but they must fulfill at least the following dimension criteria:

  1. Minimum 240 Million euro of Annual Net Revenue
  2. Average of 200 employees

FSI Board of Directors:

Giovanni Gorno Tempini (Chairman of FSI) – CEO of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SPA
Maurizio Tamagnini (CEO of FSI) – Former Head of Merrill Lynch - Southern Europe
Alessandro Pansa – CFO at Finmeccanica
Rosalba Casiraghi – Financial Consultant with long standing experience as Board member in several banks and large companies such as Pirelli, Telecom Italia Spa and Banca Intesa Sanpaolo Spa
Elena Zambon - Enterpreneur and Chairman at Zambon - Pharmaceuticals

FSI is about to be established. The Board of directors will meet before the end of August 2011.

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