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Clessidra nears 500 mln euros for first close on Fund III

Clessidra Capital Partners, an Italian manager that has been in talks to buy a majority stake in fashion house Roberto Cavalli, is approaching 500 million euros ($543.6 million) for a first close for its latest flagship fund, according to a person with knowledge of the fundraising.

Clessidra launched Fund III with a target of 1 billion euros, though it’s not clear when the firm launched the pool. Park Hill Group is working as placement agent on the fundraising.

Clessidra closed its 2008 vintage second fund on 1.4 billion euros. That fund was generating a 1.51x multiple and a 17.58 percent internal rate of return as of Sept. 30, according to alternative assets information provider Bison.

The firm in 2013 asked investors to shrink Fund II to 1.1 billion euros because it was only halfway deployed and approaching the end of its investment period, according to media reports from the time.

Clessidra in April announced it hired Francesco Trapani, a former senior executive at LVMH and former head of jeweler Bulgari. The firm brought Trapani on as executive vice chairman.

Clessidra is controlled by Claudio Sposito, chairman and chief executive officer, who founded the firm in 2003, and Maurizio Bottinelli, head of investment team.

The firm also has a group of partners: Riccardo Bruno, Manuel CatalanoMarco Carotenuto, Simone Cucchetti, Alessandro Papetti and Matteo Ricatti.

Clessidra has been in talks with Italian fashion business Roberto Cavalli to buy a majority stake, Reuters reported in February. The status of those talks is not clear. Clessidra also teamed up with Advent International and Bain Capital for a bid for Italian bank services provider ICBPI, Reuters reported in March.

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