Michele Russo comes back to big deals, MF Milano Finanza writes today saying that the private equity manager is now working as a managing director for paneuropean private equity firm Terra Firma, after having left Italy’s mid-market private equity firm Opera sgr.
Mr. Russo has been the majority shareholder in Opera sgr since 2007 when he first bought a 77% stake from previous Opera sgr’s ceo Renato Preti and then bought another 11% stake in 2008. Opera sgr won the management of CapeNatixis sgr,’s private equity funds when some years ago the Italian management company was shut down by the Bank of Italy. Prior to that Mr. Russo used to be a partner of Doughty Hanson.
Mr. Russo is now in charge of a new project for Terra Firma’s founder Guy Hands. that is the building up a new private equity secondary investment business with focus all over Europe. Terra Firma’s aim is to acquire private equity’s portfolios and eventually the management companies too. Mr. Russo put forward his offer to buy Clessidra sgr too, MF Milano Finanza writes. Clessidra sgr’s auction was then won by Italmobiliare (see here a previous post by BeBeez).
Terra Firma will focus on special situations portfolio as for the companies in the portfolio or for the management company (see CLessidra sgr’s case, where a key man passed away or other situations where there is a leadership problem among the managers)
As far as Opera sgr, the last Cape Natixis’s fund now own stakes in just three portfolio companies (Castaldi, Duplomatic andForno della Rotonda). Those companies are to be bought by Headway Capital Partners, a secondary private equity specialist, which is going to acquire the whole package for a price which is going to give a positive return to the fund’s investors. Opera sgr will go on working as an adivisor to Headway as for the three Italian companies. Christophe Lefèvre, who used to be Opera sgr’s investment manager has been appointed ceo.