Ver completes first close on Italian fund

The firm is aiming to raise €150m for its fund, which invests in the Italian mid and large end of the market.

Ver Capital has reached a first close on its Italy-focused private debt investment vehicle.

The firm has hit €50 million for the Ver Capital Credit Partner Italia V platform, which it hopes will raise €150 million overall. It has a hard-cap of €200 million and a second close is scheduled for November.

The fund targets investments in the senior secured space and is interested in the Italian mid-to-large sector specifically targeting companies with a revenue of between €80 million and €300 million. The fund is sector agnostic and has a target IRR of 7 percent.

Ticket sizes are between €5 million and €7 million and the fund invests in a number of instruments including loans and minibonds. Loan sizes range between five and seven years and the fund has to be fully invested within nine years. The breakdown of the investments are 80 percent in the primary market and 20 percent in secondary, although there is flexibility of commitments to the secondary market.

Overall, the firm is aiming to include 30 companies in its portfolio. A notable investor in the fund is the Fondo Italiano d’Investimento, an Italian fund of funds supported by the national government.

Francesco Francini, partner at Ver Capital, told PDI that the flexibility of the fund’s instruments gives it the edge over banks when financing companies. And the growth of the private debt fund is being driven by two factors, Francini outlined. He said that “companies are looking to different sources of financing than from traditional banks” and that insurance companies and pension funds continue their search for yield and look to private debt as rates for government bonds drop close to 0 percent.

Ver Capital was established in 2006 and has deployed more than €500 million since its creation.