Futurimpresa fund getting closer to €200m target – exclusive

The backer of Italian SMEs is in talks with potential investors that could move the fundraising for Antares AZ I to around €160m.

Futurimpresa, the Milan-based fund manager, is understood from market sources to be in talks with two potential investors which could commit a combined €60 million into the firm’s Antares AZ I private debt fund, which has raised around €100 million so far.

The firm itself declined to comment on fundraising. Futurimpresa, which was launched about seven years ago, is controlled by Azimut Group, the Italian independent asset manager. The firm also manages a private equity fund.

The Antares AZ I fund, which has a target of €200 million, has an independent management team led by Stefano Romiti and Gabriele Casati (also members of Futurimpresa’s board of directors).

It posted a first close on approximately €70 million in March 2016 and a second close on around €97 million in November. It is backed mainly by Italian institutional investors and some European insurance companies.

Opportunities are sourced from the management team network, Azimut promoters and professional advisors.

The fund will invest between €4 million and €8 million in companies across all sectors except real estate, financial services and any sector deemed to be unethical. It has a lifespan of eight years.

The first investment from the fund was a €6 million five-year bond for Mineral Waters of Italy (Acque Minerali d’Italia), the mineral water and soft drink bottling and marketing group (which includes major brands Norda, Sangemini and Gaudianello), in September last year.

Antares AZ I aims to complement the Italian banking system by providing financing for SMEs going through a development phase.