Italian Government-owned Sace Group, a leading provider of credit insurance and other financial products for companies, prepares the launch of a private debt closed-end fund, MF-Milano Finanza writes today. The fund will be managed by Amundi sgr (Crédit Agricole Group), chosen among a restricted range of candidates.
Led by ceo Alessandro Castellano, Sace is controlled by Italian Government’s investment veichle Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (Cdp) but is going to be privatized in the next future. Sace will invest 175 million euros in the new fund and is looking for another big investor for 175 millions more in order to reach a 350 millions size.
The fund will invest in so-called minibonds, that is bonds issued by Italian small and medium enterprises whose ordinary shares are not listed on a regulated stock exchange, Issuers will be chosen among healty SMEs with a good focus on export. Sace will also act as a financial guarantor of the issued bonds. So Sace will be investor in the fund, originator and guarantor of the bonds at one time. A fact that might raise some potential conflict of interest and that make some competitors quite nervous.
Sace’s project is independent from the one that Cdp is studying in the same sector, that is to say a fund of funds specialized in Italian private debt or minibonds, that might or might not involve Fondo Italiano d’Investimento sgr. The latter is a private equity operator promoted byt the Government and sponsored by all the Italian major banks. The first fund is now 75 pct invested and this is the right time for a new fund (see a previous post in BeBeez).