Charme unveils five new LPs

The Italian private equity group launched last year has secured commitments from five new investors as it continues a E150m fundraising effort.

Charme, the Italian private equity house launched last year by Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo, has confirmed that five new partners are to join the group.


Vittorio Merloni, chief shareholder of Merloni Elettrodomestici SpA, Nerio Alessandri, owner of unlisted sports-equipment manufacturer Technogym and Gianni Punzo, chairman of a port near Naples, have all agreed to subscribe to the fund. Two families, the Marsiaj family and the Montinari family, are also planning to invest.


The fund is looking to raise E150m which will be invested in the Italian consumer goods, media, and entertainment sectors. The fund held a first close on E110m in December. Founding limited partners in the Charme fund include Deutsche Bank, Unicredito Italiano, and Monte dei Paschi di Siena, as well as Diego della Valle, founder of Tod's and president of Florence's Fiorentina soccer team.


Charme is not expected to make an acquisition until the fundraising process is completed, which is scheduled for later this year. In total, the fund will make up to four significant acquisitions over the next three to four years.


“This initiative represents the first phase of what will be a long-term entrepreneurial project that will be flexible and dynamic,” Montezemolo said in a statement at the time of the first close. Typical “target companies” for the fund will have strong brands as well as primary customers “who give priority to quality and the social status of the goods that they buy,” Charme said in the statement.


The firm said its investments will not necessarily be restricted to the luxury goods sector, but will be companies that show a high level of potential in terms of branding and strategic marketing. “Those companies that Charme believes will benefit most from the investment made will be selected.”


The fund is currently competing on the fundraising trail with Opera Fund, the private equity unit of Italian luxury goods manufacturer Bulgari.


Opera Fund, the private equity unit of Italian luxury goods manufacturer Bulgari, has confirmed that it is planning to raise a second fund targeting opportunities in the Italian luxury goods and services sector. The firm, headed by former Morgan Grenfell Private Equity director Renato Preti, is planning to raise E250m to invest in interior design and furnishing, fashion and leather goods, cosmetics, tourism, quality food and wine, as well as retail.