Tages, a group founded in 2011 by Panfilo Tarantelli, Sergio Ascolani and Salvatore Cordaro, then joined by Umberto Quadrino and Francesco Trapani, and Investcorp, the giant of alternative asset management based in Bahrain, yesterday announced the merger of the two respective absolute return asset management business, Investcorp Absolute Return Investments (ARI) and Tages Capital LLP, in a joint venture named Investcorp-Tages Ltd. The latter is now a worldwide leading multimanager management company in the sector absolute return investments, with over 6 billion dollars in assets under management, a team of 18 professionals and a broad spectrum of investment solutions (see the press release here). The joint venture will be led by current management, namely Salvatore Cordaro, founding partner of Tages Capital, and Lionel Erdely, cio of Investcorp’s ARI business.
The combination of the absolute return activities of the two groups will be able to count on a wide range of investment solutions, which includes both multimanager portfolios (in the sectors of liquid alternative investments, private debt and impact investing) and innovative single manager solutions in the hedge world (including seeding / acceleration activities, alternative risk rewards, systematic strategies, thematic portfolios and alternative UCITS funds). The jv will benefit from ESG policies and initiatives developed by both companies, to strengthen its focus on sustainable social and environmental investments through the launch of new products.
Tages Capital and ARI’s business both boast an important track record in providing early capital to managers operating in the absolute return investment sector. Investcorp and Tages are convinced that this merger can create one of the global leaders in the seeding sector of talented managers, with the ability to identify and invest in emerging managers operating on different strategies, investment styles and geographies.
The ARI and Tages Capital activities have no overlap in customers and the joint venture provides an ideal opportunity for the new reality to strengthen relationships through complementary products and geographical areas, with a customer base distributed evenly in the main markets, including the North America (37%), Europe (25%), Asia (20%) and the Middle East (18%).
Rishi Kapoor, co-ceo of Investcorp said: “This combination underlines Investcorp’s commitment to continue offering our investor base a broad range of solutions around the world. The jv will be positioned optimally to accelerate growth thanks to its geographic presence spread over three continents, with highly talented professionals and economies of scale. Our activities are highly complementary and the two companies share similar values, including a culture of customer centrality and alignment of interests”.
Panfilo Tarantelli, ceo and founding partner of Tages, said: “Tages and Investcorp are ideal partners with consolidated experience in creating value for their investors and with a culture of excellence. We are confident that by combining our strengths, we will accelerate our growth trajectory. The availability of additional resources, a global platform and access to multiple sources of capital will increase our ability to offer solutions with uncorrelated returns to cope with the extreme current volatility of the markets and adequately respond to the challenges of the future post-Covid scenario”.
Lionel Erdely added: “The joint venture will offer significant benefits to our customers. Together, we will be able to offer an even wider range of absolute return investment solutions, thanks to the sharing of global resources and a group of world-class professionals. By bringing together the best of our activities, we will remain focused on the entrepreneurial and flexible approach that has always guided our success. We are looking forward to working together to fully realize the potential of our union”.
Salvatore Cordaro commented: “I can’t think of a more complementary partner for Investcorp’s Tages to strengthen our ability to generate performance for our investors. Together, we will have one of the most competent and specialized teams in our sector, a complete portfolio of solutions that can cover the entire spectrum of the absolute return segment, and a unique track record in providing seed capital to talented emerging managers”.
Tages also invests in renewable energy, private equity and distressed debt and non performinng exposures. In the renewable energy business, Tages is the second largest operator in the photovoltaic sector in Italy with portfolio assets of 358 MW, 119 plants and invested assets of approximately 1.1 billion euros. Last March, the Tages Helios II fund, the second fund dedicated to renewables managed by Tages Capital sgr, announced a new partial closing of over 104 million euros of commitments, which thus brought its total fundraising to around 252 million euros, in line with that raised by the Tages Helios I fund, which closed in January 2019 for 253 millions and is now fully invested (see here a previous article by BeBeez).
Private equity investments are instead made through a strategic partnership with VAM Investment Group, an investment company specializing in growth capital and buyouts for small and medium-sized enterprises (see here a previous article by BeBeez). Lastly, the non-performing loans business is managed through Credito Fondiario, a platform specialized in the management and servicing of non-performing loans, with over 50 billion euro of assets under management, 815 million euro of invested capital and 366 million of equity capital. After a recent restructuring, Tages shareholders hold a direct minority interest in Credito Fondiario, in partnership with Elliott Management Corporation (see here a previous article by BeBeez).
Investcorp also invests in private equity, real estate, infrastructure, credit management and strategic capital. As of December 31, 2019, the Investcorp group had 31.1 billion dollars under management, including assets managed by third party managers and assets subject to a non-discretionary advisory mandate in which Investcorp receives commissions. Since its inception in 1982, Investcorp has carried out over 195 private equity operations in the United States, Europe, the Middle East region, North Africa and Asia, in a range of industries that includes retail and consumer products, technology , business and industrial services, and more than 765 commercial and residential real estate investments in the United States and Europe, for a transaction value in excess of 61 billion dollars. Investcorp employs around 450 people in its offices in New York, London, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Doha, Mumbai and Singapore.
Last September Investcorp announced the signing of the agreement to acquire the majority of Ticket Holding sàrl, the holding company headed by the Bologna-based platform Vivaticket, the world’s leading provider of integrated software solutions for leisure and entertainment ticketing, sports, culture and fairs (see here a previous article by BeBeez). In 2016 Investcorp had acquired 83% of the Corneliani men’s clothing group (see here a previous article by BeBeez). In November 2014 Investcorp had acquired 80% of the capital of Dainese, the historic leading brand in the production of high quality technical clothing in the world of motorcycling and dynamic sports (see here a previous article by BeBeez). In October 2018 he had appointed Lazard advisor for the sale and in July 2019 the Permira fund and some industrial entities were in the race (see here a previous article by BeBeez), but then the deal never closed.