Muzinich holds first close of €156m

The corporate credit specialist has raised €156 million for an Italy-focused debt fund and expects a further close this year, potentially on double that amount.

Asset management firm Muzinich & Co has held a first close on €156 million for an Italy-focused private debt fund, according to a statement on Monday. A further close is expected later in the year, the firm said.

A spokeswoman for the firm said the fund's “initial target” was $200 million (€144 million) but that $400 million “is within reach”. 

The Luxembourg SICAV-SIF fund is dedicated to financing small and midsize Italian companies and has attracted investment from domestic and non-Italian institutional investors, including insurance companies, pension funds, banks and family offices.

The fund will be managed by a team of investment professionals based in Milan and private debt specialists in London and New York, targeting companies with revenues of €50 to €500 million and EBITDA of more than €7.5 million. Five to seven year term financing, primarily in the form of senior debt, of €10 to €20 million will be provided to companies with a focus on growth financing, particularly for businesses that wish to grow through international expansion.

The fund will target companies in the industrial, consumer goods, food, luxury, retail, healthcare, communications, transport and business services sectors.

Muzinich is researching other European markets, including the UK, for similar private debt opportunities and is in the process of assessing institutional investor appetite, the firm said.

The firm had €20.8 billion of assets under management as at March-end 2014.