Investindustrial, the Chinese sovereign fund China Investment Corporation (CIC) and Unicredit yesterday announced the launch of CIICF (China-Italy Industrial Cooperation Fund), a fund targeting Italian mid-market companies, with an endowment of 600 million euros fully subscribed by the three partners (see here the press release). The fund will then be able to raise additional capital if and when appropriate.
The new fund, managed by Investindustrial, will mainly invest in leading Italian companies with development opportunities in China. The investment process and portfolio management will be supported by the largest dedicated team in Southern Europe, which works closely with the Investindustrial team in China.
Unicredit, active in China since 1982 and present with branches in Beijing and Shanghai, in addition to investing in the fund, will promote these development opportunities on the Chinese market among Italian companies, leveraging its extensive commercial network in Italy and the expertise of Corporate & Investment Fully integrated banking. The partnership will offer, mainly to Italian companies, significant investments in order to consolidate and accelerate the development of their commercial presence in China. Consequently, Chinese consumers will benefit from better access to quality European goods and services, with particular reference to consumer, manufacturing and healthcare ones.
Andrea C. Bonomi, Investindustrial managing principal, commented: “Italy offers great investment opportunities with solid fundamentals and clear growth paths globally. The innovative project is dedicated to the financial and operational needs of these Italian companies, in particular those of the mid-market. Italian medium-sized enterprises deserve to be both larger and more competitive on a global scale. Thanks to the partnership with CIC and Unicredit, Investindustrial will double its team dedicated to the Chinese area, both in China and Europe, alongside our other 130 colleagues who support medium-sized companies in their growth plans “.
Peng Chun, president of CIC, said: “As China’s sovereign wealth fund, CIC intends to work closely with Investindustrial and UniCredit to exploit the advantages of Italian companies and act as a bridge to the Chinese market. This will not only stimulate Italy’s economic development, but will also benefit Chinese consumers and businesses – an advantage for both nations. In addition, we also hope to use the fund as an open platform to enhance bilateral financial, economic and trade cooperation”.
Richard Burton, Unicredit’s corporate and investment banking ceo said: “The launch of this new fund will allow us to enhance customer support in their international engagement with a full range of products and services. This innovative partnership will bring benefits to Italian companies focused on the Chinese market, particularly in the consumer, industrial and healthcare sectors, while stimulating trade and international relations “.
Headquartered in Beijing, China Investment Corporation (CIC) was founded in September 2007 as a vehicle to diversify China’s foreign exchange holdings and achieve maximum returns for its shareholders. According to SWFI, a well-known provider of data relating to sovereign wealth funds around the world, CIC currently has over 1.045 billion dollars in assets under management.
Investindustrial European group leader in investment, holding and consultancy managed independently with 11 billion euros of funds raised. For more than 30 years, it has provided mid-market companies with capital, industrial expertise, operational support and a global platform to accelerate their sustainable value creation and international expansion. Some companies of the Investindustrial group are authorized and subject to regulatory control by the FCA in the UK and the CSSF in Luxembourg. Last September Investindustrial together with private equity Black Diamond Capital Management took over Hexion PSR, a company active on a global scale in the production of special phenolic resins, engineering thermosetting molding compounds and formaldehyde (see here a previous article by BeBeez).