Equita’s first credit fund injects funding into Lameplast Group

The financial firm has lined up more commitments that are expected to take the vehicle past the €100m mark.

Equita SIM has made its first private debt investment from its debut fund, an up to €5 million first tranche bond buy, the firm announced Monday.

The Milan, Italy-based investment bank put the capital to work in a sponsored transaction, backing Aksia Group’s buyout of Lameplast Group, a packager of medical devices and cosmetics, Equita said in the statement.

The Equita Private Debt Fund announced a €66 million first close from domestic investors in March. The firm said additional commitments from Italian institutional capital over the next five months are expected to bring the fund’s total €100 million. In tandem, another deal using money from the fund is being finalised.  

“Lameplast represents an ideal target for an investment of this type, due to the stability of its revenues, the excellent cash generation and limited leverage,” Paolo Pendenza, Equita’s head of private debt management said. “This transaction confirms the complementary nature of private debt with bank financing and demonstrates the ability of Equita to generate investment opportunities after just four months from the first closing of the Fund.”

Aksia made the investment from its Aksia Capital IV fund, which has raised €110 million and is part of Aksia's strategy of investing in small and medium Italian companies specialised in manufacturing. Merfin Capital contributed to the fund.

According to the firm’s website, the Lameplast deal is the second transaction for the fund. It completed the acquisition of a majority stake in business services company merger of Contacta and Visiant Contact in December.

Equita is in the market with its first fund as more firms are making moves into private credit space. Hermes Investment Management last month took steps to launch a £750 million direct lending fund with the Royal Bank of Scotland, which is subject to regulatory approval. Terra Firma is also moving into the private credit space.

This story has been updated to clarify the investors in Aksìa Capital IV fund.